The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds Minnesotans who intend to burn vegetative debris, such as grass, leaves, brush and untreated lumber, to do so now, when there is ample snow on the ground, rather than in the spring when wildfire risk is greatest due to brown grass and low humidity.

Each year, spring burning permit restrictions are put in place after the snow melts and remain in place until fire danger conditions improve.

“Vegetative debris burn piles are the number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota. Chipping and composting are encouraged as an alternative to burning whenever possible.”

Dan Carroll, DNR northwest region wildfire prevention specialist

As Smokey Bear says: “Only you can prevent wildfires.” All fires must be supervised and put out by drowning the remains with plenty of water or snow, stirring and repeating until out cold.

If a fire does rekindle or escape, the person who set it is liable for any damages and wildfire suppression costs. Burning garbage, including chemically-treated or painted lumber, tires, and plastics, is illegal.

Visit the DNR’s guide to composting yard debris for more information on alternatives to burning vegetative debris. Find more information on the statewide fire danger and burning restrictions page of the DNR website or the burning permit information page of the DNR website.