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Despite snow, Beltrami County added to burn restrictions list

BEMIDJI—Despite Monday's snowfall, Beltrami County has been added to a county burn restriction list by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Because of warm and dry weather, the following counties were added on Monday: Beltrami, Aitkin, Becker, Carlton, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, St. Louis, Wadena and Wilkin.

With the restriction in place, the state won't issue burning permits for brush or yard waste in those counties until it's lifted.

Burn restrictions also remain in place for Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Washington and Wright Counties.

"Warm and dry conditions are key factors for wildfires, so we have to remain vigilant about restricting open burning," DNR Fire Prevention Supervisor Casey McCoy said in a release. "These restrictions really do work. They've helped us reduce wildfires by more than 30 percent over the past decade."

With the restrictions, McCoy encourages landowners to compost, chip, or take brush to a collection site rather than burn it. McCoy said those who burn debris will be held financially responsible if their fire escapes and burns other property.

According to the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, there's a potential for the Bemidji area to receive a mix of rain and snow most of this week.