The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources placed burning restrictions on
13 additional counties in central Minnesota Monday.
These counties include Aitkin, Benton, Crow Wing, Douglas, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pope, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and southern Cass (the portion south of Highway 200).
Burning restrictions took effect April 21 in Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Pine, Ramsey, Sherburne, Washington and Wright counties.
With the return to normal and above normal temperatures over the last few days, snow is rapidly melting, exposing dry grass and brush and creating a potential for wildfires.
While weather patterns this spring have been hard to predict, the DNR anticipates that more counties will be included in the restrictions in the near future.
“If the anticipated weather pattern holds, additional counties will be added soon after May 6,” Steve Simmer, DNR fire prevention supervisor, said. “I anticipate most of the northwestern and central Minnesota will lose the majority of their snow by then.”
Counties likely to be added soon will be Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Pennington, Roseau and the southeast corner of Polk (the portion south and east of County Road 6 from the Manhomen County line to state Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line).