Updated: March 26, 2020 02:32 PM
Created: March 26, 2020 12:49 PM
Warmer temperatures and drier conditions in the central and east-central part of the state translate to an increased wildfire risk. On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced restrictions on open burning in multiple counties.
According to the release, the counties include: Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Washington and Wright.
The DNR said the state will not issue burning permits for brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted. A variance permit may be obtained for special agricultural, industrial or management circumstances.
"Escaped debris burns are the number one cause of wildfires. That's why we issue these restrictions," said Casey McCoy, DNR fire prevention supervisor. "They really work; we've reduced wildfires by nearly a third since we started spring burning restrictions."
McCoy encouraged residents to use alternatives to burning, such as composting, chipping or taking brush to a collection site. For information on how to compost yard debris, visit the DNR's guide to composting yard debris.
People who burn debris will be held financially responsible if their fire escapes and burns other property.
The DNR said burning restrictions for additional counties will be added as conditions change.
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