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Burning restrictions in place for Cass, Crow Wing

The DNR will not issue permits for open burning

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Don't burn that brush pile just yet.

Cass and Crow Wing counties are two of 17 counties recently added to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources list of counties where burning restrictions are in effect, as the wildfire season deepens and expands in northwestern Minnesota.

Seventeen other counties were already under restrictions.

The DNR will not issue permits for open burning of brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted.

Given the elevated fire danger, indexes have been elevated during this time of year. Generally, we have the majority of our wildfires in the springtime.
Craig Schultz, Backus Area Fire Program Leader

As of Monday, May 16, both Cass and Crow Wing counties are considered at high risk for fires, despite last week's rain.

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“Burning restrictions are put on annually in the springtime - generally after individual citizens have had a good two weekends to do yard cleanup and burning - because we get into these dry, warm, windier conditions this time of year,” Backus Area Fire Program Leader Craig Schultz said. “Given the elevated fire danger, indexes have been elevated during this time of year. Generally, we have the majority of our wildfires in the springtime.”

Burning may only occur if an individual has obtained a variance permit.

However, last week’s considerable amount of rainfall - some residents saw as much as 3 inches in a 48-hour period - may alter those restrictions sooner than expected.

“Generally, at minimum, restrictions are on for at least two weeks,” Schultz said. “Things may be extended. Last year, burning restrictions got extended quite a long time into the summer. But with the rainfall and quick green-up that we've seen occurring and leaf out on the trees, that will most likely impact how long restrictions are (in place).

"Looking forward, the restrictions should be coming off somewhat quicker than in the last couple of years,” he said.

Some people may be somewhat unaware of the elevated fire danger risk, even though it can fluctuate from day to day,” Schultz said. “There have been some busy days in the area with wildfires in the recent past.
Craig Schultz, Backus Area Fire Program Leader

Schultz said roughly 90% of wildfires in Minnesota are human-caused, and most often a result of burning yard debris. If a debris fire rekindles or escapes, the person who set it is liable for any damage caused, as well as for wildfire suppression costs.

For more information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the statewide fire danger and burning restrictions page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/BurnRestrictions.

“Some people may be somewhat unaware of the elevated fire danger risk, even though it can fluctuate from day to day,” Schultz said. “There have been some busy days in the area with wildfires in the recent past.”

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Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan .

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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