Burn permits now required in Cook County as snowpack fades
DNR photo
Outdoor News

Burn permits now required in Cook County as snowpack fades

Burn permits are now required in both Cook and Lake counties for anyone looking to burn vegetative debris – such as brush, grass, leaves, and untreated wood.

The permits are required starting Friday, April 14. Property owners where more than 3 inches of snow still stands on the ground are not required to get a permit at this time. Many areas closer to Lake Superior lost their snowpack during this week’s warm weather. Rain in the forecast this weekend will likely contribute to the further decay of the snowpack on the North Shore.

Aaron Mielke is a firefighter and forester with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He set the permit requirement in place Friday morning.

“A majority of both counties are still snow covered. There are some areas mainly close to the shore that have opened up and meet the requirements for requiring a permit. For those areas with 3” plus of continuous snow cover a permit is not required,” Mielke wrote in a memo shared with county residents and officials.

Every spring, burning permit restrictions are put in place after the snow melts. Restrictions remain in place until vegetation begins to “green up” and fire risk declines.

“Vegetative debris burn piles are the number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota,” said Karen Harrison, DNR statewide wildfire prevention specialist. “Chipping and composting are the best options and are encouraged as an alternative to burning whenever possible.”

If vegetative debris is burned, all fires must be supervised and put out by drowning 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. It is illegal to burn garbage, including chemically treated or painted lumber, tires, and plastics.

Click here to learn more about the DNR’s burn permit requirements.