Burning restrictions issued for much of the state

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is restricting open burning due to increased wildfire risk from dry conditions across much of Minnesota.  

According to a press release issued Wednesday by the DNR, the ban includes a large swath of the state including all of southeast Minnesota and comes in the face of extremely dry conditions and high winds.

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

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According to the National Weather Service, winds were expected to gust into the low 30s today and into tomorrow and paired with already dry conditions can lead to a quickly spreading fire.

Graphic courtesy of the Minnesota Department of National Resources

Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik said the county follows the recommendations set by the DNR and that the Red Flag Warning currently in place is an attempt to stay away from these possible wildfires, especially with some crops still in the field.

“We need some precipitation,” Sandvik said. “Today they knew (the wind) would be picking up. We’re hoping we get some rain over the course of this weekend so then it will come off.”

“We will follow their guidance,” he added.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor a large amount of the state, including Mower County, is listed in abnormally dry to severe drought conditions with two large bubbles in southern Minnesota considered to be in an extreme drought.

The NWS is currently predicting at least a 60% of rain through Saturday, with the best chance coming Thursday night when showers could bring between a quarter and a half inch of rain.

Burning restrictions will be adjusted as conditions change. Until then Sandvik is urging people to also take care in lighting any backyard fires to avoid setting fallen leaves on fire.

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 (mndnr.gov/BurnRestrictions).