The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is encouraging everyone to engage in burn-free brush and yard cleanup this spring to help prevent wildfires.

According to the DNR, drought conditions across Minnesota have created the potential for an active and damaging spring wildfire season if precautions are not taken.  This was brought on by a below-average snowfall this winter after an abnormally dry fall in 2020.

One of the drier areas of the state currently is the northwest, but conditions everywhere can change as the snow melts, so a burn-free approach will help across the state. According to Ben Lang, DNR Forestry assistant supervisor in Bemidji, "Open burning of debris is the number one cause of wildfires. That’s why composting, chipping or taking brush to a collection site are the preferred alternatives for brush and yard clean-up year-round and even more so in the current dry conditions.”

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Lang added that 75% of Minnesota wildfires occur in the months of March, April and May, which is surprise to many residents.

Annual spring burning restrictions will soon go into effect. These seasonal and temporary constraints curb the open burning of brush and vegetation. The timing and length of restrictions depends on the weather and how fast things “green up” in the spring. You can click here to access the DNR's statewide fire danger and current burning restrictions page.

The DNR reminds residents that burning permits are not required if there are three or more inches of continuous snow cover. If you do need a burning permit, you can click here to get yours online.

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