Burning restrictions, red flag warnings in place across Minnesota

Gusty winds and warmer temperatures are creating ideal conditions for wildfires across the state, and authorities are warning against any open fires until the forecast improves.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is restricting open burning in Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties starting Monday.

Starting Wednesday, May 3, those same restrictions will start in Benton, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties.

The DNR said its staff will not issue any open burning permits for yard waste or brush until burning restrictions in those counties are lifted.

Red flag warnings, which means that fires are in danger of spreading quickly and out of control, are also in place in 20 different counties across the state.

Those counties are Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Grant, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Wadena, Wilkin.

Campfires are discouraged, and no open burning permits will be issued in these counties while the red flag warning is in place.

“Wildfire risk increases each year after the snow melts and before vegetation greens up,” said Karen Harrison, DNR wildfire prevention specialist. “Spring burning restrictions help to reduce the number of wildfires, especially those caused by debris burning.”

The DNR is reminding people of alternatives to disposing of yard waste, such as composting, chipping or taking brush to a collection site. Other information on composting for woodland owners can be found here.

Anyone who does start a fire despite these warnings is reminded to make sure embers and flames are completely out.

More information on statewide burning restrictions can be found on the DNR’s website.