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Burning restrictions set to start Sunday

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BEMIDJI – Due to fire dangers in northwestern and north central Minnesota, the state Department of Natural Resources will initiate burning restrictions starting at 1 a.m. Sunday.

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Campfires and open burning will be restricted in the following counties: Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Cass (north of Highway 200), Clearwater, Douglas, Hubbard, Kanabec, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Stearns, Todd and Wadena.

According to a DNR news release, campfires or recreational fires outside municipalities are allowed only in a designated receptacle designed for such use and associated with a residence, staffed campgrounds such as state parks, or resorts.

No burning permits will be issued to the general public and no use of fireworks will be allowed outside of municipalities.

“The severe drought has brought wildfire conditions to the point that fires start easily from sparks or windblown embers and spread rapidly,” the release states. “Presently, without the ability to use water to drown campfires, it will be difficult to properly extinguish them.”

The DNR and other wildfire agencies in Minnesota have brought in additional resources and placed them on a Level 5 alert, the highest planning level. The Minnesota Incident Command System agencies are concerned that prolonged lack of rainfall has allowed even the large woody debris and standing conifer trees to ignite easily as well as areas with peat soils, the release states.

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