Burning restrictions in place for county
Becker County is one of 16 additional Minnesota counties placed under burning restrictions by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources effective Friday, April 22.
These restrictions are put in place each spring to reduce the occurrence of wildfires, which can damage homes and other personal property.
The burning restriction takes effect at 8 a.m. Friday, April 22, and includes the following counties: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass in its entirety, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk east of Highway 6 and south of Highway 92, Roseau, and St. Louis south of a line between townships 55 and 56 North.
This line runs west-east from the towns of Silica to Central Lakes to Brimson.
Last week, 19 other counties in the central part of the state began burning restrictions.
With the warmer weather, extremely fast snow melt continues throughout much of central and northern Minnesota. It is anticipated that the five remaining northernmost counties will go under restrictions prior to the end of April.
Restrictions will remain in effect until the threat of wildfires decreases.
"Until the growth of new grass appears, humidity begins to climb to summertime levels and we receive adequate precipitation, restrictions will remain in place," said Ron Stoffel, DNR wildfire suppression supervisor.
"This could take six weeks or more. Many small fires have already popped up due to the dead vegetation that is everywhere this time of year."
Burning restrictions reduce dramatically the number of human-caused wildfires, which account for more than 98 percent of all wildfires requiring a DNR response. Lightning fires account for less than two percent and normally occur during drought conditions - usually during the summer and fall - when thunderstorms are more prevalent.
Campfires are still allowed and never require a burning permit. These fires must be kept to 3 feet in diameter, be no higher than 3 feet tall, and must be attended at all times.