High fire danger brings burning restrictions to north-central counties

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Friday, June 18, 2021: To help ensure public safety and protect natural resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is activating burning restrictions beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday for the southern and eastern portions of Beltrami county, and all of Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.

In the area affected by the restrictions, burning permits will not be issued for brush or yard waste; no fireworks may be ignited on any public or private land outside city limits (check with your local community for any additional restrictions); and campfires are allowed only in an established fire ring associated with a home, campground, or resort.

The burning restrictions will remain in effect until terminated by the DNR Commissioner when weather and environmental conditions indicate a reduction in fire danger.

Casey McCoy, fire prevention supervisor, says while residents and visitors in the affected counties may still see plenty of green vegetation, the current fire situation remains dangerous. “Unusually hot and dry conditions have increased the risk of fire. One unintentional spark in these conditions could result in thousands of charred acres and property damage,” McCoy said, “This is a dangerous time for wildfires in Minnesota.”

With little precipitation and more warm weather in the forecast statewide, fire danger is likely to remain high into July. While the DNR and wildfire agencies are ready to respond to wildfires, McCoy says the responsibility for preventing fires in the first place largely falls to the public. “We don’t issue burning restrictions lightly. It’s a matter of public safety and resources. Minnesotans have a history of making a difference on wildfire prevention when they keep safety top of mind,” he says.

Minnesota’s wildland fire management agencies report more than 1,350 wildland fires have burned roughly 34,000 acres since the beginning of March 2021. The dry conditions have been building since last fall, and many areas in northern Minnesota remain abnormally dry or in moderate drought.

Fire prevention is a shared responsibility. Checking current fire danger conditions at the DNR statewide fire danger and burning restrictions map and following the fire prevention tips above will help prevent wildfires during high fire danger. If you do spot a wildfire, call 911.

For more information, visit the DNR wildland fire information webpage.

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