Burn pile

(File Photo)

This weekend’s cool weather may tempt Minnesotans to burn yard debris. But excessively dry conditions, from the Twin Cities north to the Canadian border, mean high fire danger. For this reason, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges the public not to burn and to be careful with any heat source that can cause a spark.

“Every year since 1985 our records show that escaped debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota,” says Casey McCoy, fire prevention supervisor for the Minnesota DNR. “When conditions are this dry, any type of fire can quickly turn into an escaped wildfire.”

Despite the cool temperatures this weekend, fire danger remains high because the relative humidity is low and gusty winds are likely. Burning restrictions remain in place. The DNR is not issuing burning permits for brush or yard waste.

The DNR asks Minnesotans to do their part to prevent wildfire during these dry conditions, including:

• Do not burn debris.

• Be careful with any machinery or recreational vehicles that can spark and easily ignite dry grass or other vegetation.

• Be attentive to any outdoor recreational fires. Make sure your recreational fire is not more than 3 feet in diameter by 3 feet high, and the ground is cleared of all combustible material at least 5 feet from the base of the fire. Keep a hose or water nearby.

• After a recreational fire, Drown-Stir-Repeat until it is out cold.

If you do see a wildfire, call 911.

Stay connected, stay safe:

• Check the statewide fire danger and current burning restrictions webpage, which the DNR updates daily.

• Follow @mnforestry (DNR Forestry) on Twitter for up-to-date information on statewide fire conditions.

• Follow @mnics (Minnesota Incident Command System) for information on large wildfires.