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Paynesville Press - April 27, 2005

DNR sets spring fire restrictions

By Michael Jacobson

The Department of Natural Resources has set spring fire restrictions for 32 Minnesota counties, including Stearns County. Burning restrictions went into effect in Stearns County on Monday, April 4.

The purpose of the fire restrictions is to reduce wildfires - and resulting property damage - caused by the burning of vegetative debris. DNR data indicates that a majority of spring wildfires are caused from the burning of yard debris. Historically, 80 percent of wildfires in the state occur in April and May.

The restrictions are expected to be in place until vegetation greens up enough to significantly lower the fire danger, according to the DNR.

The DNR - or local fire chiefs - can issue a limited number of permits through a variance process during this restriction period. Fire chiefs in the Paynesville area include chief Jim Freilinger or assistant chief Denny Nacey in Paynesville, chief Bob Pelzer in Lake Henry, and chief Dean Schaefer in St. Martin.

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