Wildfire Prevention Week is April 17-23
Every year in Minnesota, wildfires cause property losses, injuries and threaten the lives of fire fighters. To raise awareness of this danger, April 17-23 is Wildfire Prevention Week in Minnesota.
Most Minnesota wildfires happen in the spring between the time snow has melted and plants and grasses have greened up. This is because last year’s dry vegetation can quickly catch fire.
“Most wildfires in Minnesota are caused by humans, and the number-one reason is fire escaping from debris-burning piles,” said Linda Gormanson, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor. “To prevent wildfires in the first place, use alternatives to burning grass, plant and tree debris such as mulching or composting.”
So far this year, 555 fires have burned 4,347 acres. On average, fire agencies in Minnesota respond to 1,200 wildfires each year that burn over 38,000 acres at a cost of tens of millions of dollars for suppression efforts.
To help reduce the number of wildfires, the state restricts burning during times when vegetation can easily catch fire. Additionally, burning permits are required to burn vegetation unless there is at least 3 inches of snow on the ground. The DNR or local governments may also restrict burning if weather conditions warrant.
Learn more about wildfire prevention at www.mndnr.gov/wildfire/prevention.
Current information on statewide fire danger and burning restrictions is available at www.mndnr.gov/forestry/fire. Burning permits are available online, from local fire wardens or DNR forestry offices.
Campfires, defined as no larger than 3 feet in diameter and height and surrounded by a cleared area, do not need a permit. Be safe with fire. Keep a shovel and water at hand, never leave the fire unattended and make sure fires are completely out before leaving.