DNR advises homeowners to plan open burning before snow is gone

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 
encourages homeowners to complete necessary open burning now, as 
restrictions will take effect shortly after snowmelt occurs.
"Warm temperatures will continue to erode the snowpack in the next few 
weeks," said Larry Himanga, DNR fire prevention coordinator. "This 
will expose last year's leaves and other yard waste. The safest way to 
dispose of this vegetation is to recycle or compost it."
Homeowners who choose to burn should do so under the safest 
conditions, which is when snow is still on the ground. In addition, a 
DNR burning permit is not required when there are three or more inches 
of continuous snow cover. This cover drastically reduces the chance a 
fire will escape and burn unintended areas. Check local city and 
municipal regulations as many are more stringent.
Spring fire restrictions will soon take effect and will severely limit 
open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, most 
wildfires occur in April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires 
are caused by human error. Due to the high fire incidence during this 
period, the DNR initiates burning restrictions to coincide with this 
annual "fire season."
The restrictions are weather dependent, but normally last from four to 
six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. 
Historically, spring fire restrictions dramatically decrease the 
number and size of accidental fires.
By burning prior to snowmelt, homeowners can reduce the potential for 
an escaped fire, which could endanger homes and property. And, if the 
DNR or a fire department has to respond to an escaped fire, the 
homeowner is responsible for the cost.