The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that Stevens County is among 21 in Minnesota to be placed under burning restrictions beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 5.
These restrictions are put in place each spring to reduce the occurrence of wildfires, which can damage homes and other personal property, according to the DNR.
The new counties included in the restriction list include Stevens, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Clearwater, Cook, Douglas, Grant, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Roseau and St. Louis.
Twenty-five other counties will begin burning restrictions tomorrow, March 29 due to the extremely fast snow melt that occurred throughout much of central Minnesota. Restrictions will remain in effect until the threat of wildfires decreases.
"Until the growth of new grass appears, humidities begin to climb to summertime levels, and adequate precipitation is received, restrictions will remain in place," said Ron Stoffel, DNR wildfire suppression supervisor. "This could take six or more weeks. Many small fires have already popped up due to the standing dead vegetation that is everywhere this time of year."
Burning restrictions dramatically reduce the number of human-caused wildfires, which accounts for more than 98 percent of all wildfires the DNR responds. Lightning fires account for less than 2 percent and normally occur during droughty conditions, usually during the summer and fall, when thunderstorms are more prevalent.
Campfires are still allowed and never require burning permit, if kept to 3 feet in diameter, 3 feet tall, and is attended at all times.
For more information, visit the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us.