Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing and Wadena counties-as well as other counties in the state-were added to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' burn restriction list.

As warm and dry weather continues to spread throughout the state, the DNR also added the counties of Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Clay, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, St. Louis South and Wilkin to the list.

The state will not issue burning permits for brush or yard waste in these counties until the restrictions are lifted.

Restrictions also remain in place for Anoka, Douglas, Benton, Chisago, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Washington and Wright counties.

"Warm and dry conditions are key factors for wildfires, so we have to remain vigilant about restricting open burning," stated Casey McCoy, DNR fire prevention supervisor, in a news release. "These restrictions really do work. They've helped us reduce wildfires by more than 30 percent over the past decade."

McCoy encourages landowners to compost, chip, or take brush to a collection site rather than burn it. For information on how to compost yard waste, visit the DNR's webpage for woodland composting at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire.

People who burn debris will be financially responsible if their fire escapes and burns other property. For information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the Minnesota DNR website.