MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Spring temperatures are finally climbing to and exceeding normal highs in Minnesota, and the Department of Natural Resources wants to remind people that as the snow melts, burning restrictions are falling into place.

Last week, burning restrictions took effect in many counties surrounding the Twin Cities metro. The DNR said more counties in central Minnesota will be added to the list next Monday (May 6). These counties include Aitkin, Benton, Crow Wing, Douglas, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pope, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and southern Cass.

More counties in northern Minnesota could be added to the list shortly after May 6, depending on how quickly the snow melts.

“If the anticipated weather pattern holds, additional counties will be added soon after May 6,” said Steve Simmer, the DNR fire prevention supervisor. “I anticipate most of the northwestern and central Minnesota will lose the majority of their snow by then.”

When the snow melts, it reveals dry grass and brush. It’s when this dry matter is exposed that the potential for wildfire is greatest. It should be noted that most wildfires in Minnesota are started by people.

When a county is under burning restrictions, special permits will only be written for extenuating circumstances – such as time-sensitive construction projects or burning done by firefighters, the DNR said. For those looking to get rid of yard waste, the DNR recommends recycling, composting and chipping it. The time for burning it has come to an end.

Campfires, if smaller than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet high, will be allowed.

Since fire conditions change quickly, the DNR says that foresters have the ability to restrict burning on short notice.

For more on burning restrictions, click here.