It came as no surprise this week when the Department of Natural Resources announced it’s planning to impose burning restrictions beginning at 1 a.m. Sunday across northwest and north-central Minnesota.
I’ve seen firsthand the tinderbox-dry conditions that have resulted from lingering drought, and the fire danger is high to very high.
Because of that, the DNR is restricting campfires and open burning in Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Cass (north of Highway 200), Clearwater, Douglas, Hubbard, Kanabec, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Stearns, Todd and Wadena counties.
When the restrictions take effect, campfires or recreational fires outside municipalities only will be allowed in a designated receptacle designed for such use and associated with a residence, staffed campgrounds such as state parks or resorts. In addition, no burning permits will be issued to the general public and no use of fireworks will be allowed outside of municipalities, the DNR said in a news release.
Because of the conditions, hunters in North Dakota and Minnesota will have to be especially careful to avoid setting wildfires. Grouse and archery seasons already are underway in both states, and the regular duck and goose seasons open Saturday.