Spring burning restrictions will go into effect in most of the northwestern Minnesota counties on April 10 and will remain in place until grasses green up, usually mid-May. At present, burning permits are required in snow-free, open areas unless unbroken snow cover remains in the area surrounding the fire. Small campfires less than 3 feet across are allowed, but must be attended and put out cold.
During the burning restriction period, only variance permits for agricultural operations are issued, and only from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Forestry offices.
Wildfires start and spread easily in the spring when grasses are brown and warm windy days are common. Spring burning restrictions have significantly reduced the number of wildfires that occur in April and May. Fewer wildfires reduce the strain on volunteer fire departments that respond to the majority of wildfires in northwest Minnesota.
Restricting open burning during the high fire danger seasons is an effective way to prevent wildfires. The DNR encourages people to consider alternatives to burning, such as using municipal composting sites. If this is not practical, the summer growing season and winter are the preferred times to burn brush piles.
Current information on statewide fire danger and burning restrictions is available at mndnr.gov/forestry/fire or by contacting your local DNR Forestry office.