Winter is usually a time of low fire danger in Minnesota but this winter is different, with snow drought in most of the state.
Fuels such as grasses and brush, which are usually covered with snow, are freeze-dried and available to burn this winter. Because of these conditions Minnesota DNR officials are asking people to be careful with fire, to check previous fires for possible rekindling and make sure they get a burning permit before burning vegetation.
Burning restrictions will change as snow cover changes. Burning permits are required whenever there is less than three inches of continuous snow surrounding a planned burn area.
Right now, with the exception of Cook County in northeastern Minnesota, burning permits are needed for debris and vegetation burning. Permitted burning hours vary by geographical area. Campfires are allowed without burning permits.
For information about burning permits, contact the Bemidji area DNR Forestry office.