Burning restrictions to begin March 29
Due to rapid snowmelt across much of the state, open burning restrictions will start in 25 counties at 8 a.m. on March 29, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
The counties include: Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Chisago, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Washington, Wright, and the south half of Beltrami.
Dry conditions have increased the risk of wildfires, particularly in grassy areas which can ignite easily and spread quickly.
"The lack of snow on the ground allows the vegetation to dry out much faster, which increases the likelihood for a fire to start," said Larry Himanga, DNR fire prevention specialist. "The rapid snow melt has drastically increased the risk for wildfires."
Additional counties will be added shortly, as the snow cover recedes further north.