Recent rain and a return of near-normal temperatures and higher evening humidity have greatly reduced the chance of campfires or open burning causing a wildfire in Cook and Lake counties. In response, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is removing burning restrictions in those counties, effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21. Cook and Lake counties are the last two Minnesota counties under DNR-mandated burning restrictions.
These changes reflect reduced wildfire risk in these counties and across the state. However, fall is traditionally a dry time in Minnesota; fires can start easily in dry grass and leaves. Minnesotans are encouraged to stay alert and keep current with the statewide fire conditions and burning restrictions.
Forrest Boe, Director of DNR’s Forestry Division, praised Minnesotans and wildfire response agencies saying, “Minnesotans’ efforts in following burning restrictions, combined with firefighters’ rapid and sustained suppression response, has helped Minnesota through this unprecedented wildfire season with limited property losses and no injuries. Thank you, and let’s keep it up through the fall.”
The DNR will continue to monitor conditions and will reinstate county-specific burning restrictions if necessary. Of upmost importance is protecting the health and safety of the public and firefighters.
This lifting of the last remaining state burning restrictions aligns with recent changes made by the U.S. Forest Service for the Chippewa National Forest and Superior National Forest, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, as well as actions taken by tribal governments.
An Area of Closure around the Greenwood Fire remains in place and is not affected by the decision to lift burning restrictions. Under current fire operations, the incident management team for the Greenwood Fire needs to be aware of all personnel entering the area to ensure firefighter and public safety.