Greg Russell, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forestry, said burning permits are required statewide, unless the ground is covered with snow. There is no charge for a permit, which can be obtained from fire wardens.
Permits are required to burn vegetative material; for a running fire, such as grass in a ditch; or for a structure fire. Vegetative material includes grass, leaves, brush, and untreated lumber.
According to Paynesville Fire Chief, Jim Freilinger, permit are not required for a campfire, when the ground is snow-covered, or for a fire contained in a charcoal grill.
No permits are required within the Paynesville city limits. Open burning of leaves in the city is only permitted from Tuesday, Oct. 10, to Sunday, Nov. 26. No other burning is allowed within city limits.
When a person obtains a burning permit, they agree to keep the fire under control and assume responsibility for all damages and costs that may result from the fire. If the fire gets out of control, the permit holder is responsible.
The burning permit must be available at the burn site for inspection.
The permit holder must notify the local fire chief and county dispatch center when they start to burn and when the fire is out. This is needed in case a neighbor reports the burn as a wild fire. If the county knows someone is burning legally, they will not dispatch the fire department unnecessarily.
Paynesville Township assesses its citizens $500 per fire run. People who fail to report that they are burning could be charged $500 for a false run.
Local fire departments even need to obtain a permit when they hold a training drill.
Household garbage cannot be burned. Other materials that cannot be burned include hazardous wastes, plastic liners in seed or feed bags, tar paper, shingles, industrial solid wastes, demolition debris, motor vehicles, oils, rubber, and plastics. Chemically treated materials such as tires and railroad ties cannot be burned.
If the DNR doesn't see a lot of precipitation in October, they are considering putting a burning ban into effect again, said Russell, who has authority over Meeker and Kandiyohi counties.
Lightning recently started cattails on fire near Kingston, which threatened crops. "It is a scary site once a dry cornfield starts burning," he added.
In western Stearns County, burning bans are left to individual fire chiefs. The determining factor in placing a burning ban is the number of grass fires that get out of control.
Local fire wardens-
Eden Lake Township:
Loren and Betty Eull, 320-453-7221
Neil and Joy Hemingson, 320-453-7416
Judy and Dick Jovanovich, 320-453-2757
LeRoy and Joyce Mackedanz, 320-243-4344
John and Pat Olson, 320-243-3864
John and Julie Atwood, 320-243-3917
Sharon and Larry Wendroth, 320-243-4923
Warren Nehring, 320-243-8601
Harvey and Sadie Voss, 320-243-4403
Birch Beach Store, 320-276-8298
Twilight Acres Resort, 320-597-2483
Richard and Eileen Fleischhacker, 320-548-3553
Steve and Jane Frieler, 320-243-4666
City of Roscoe:
Richard Philabaum, 320-243-4428
Daniel and Juanita Olson, 320-276-8658
Monson Lumber: Richard Rooney and Jeff Monson, 320-354-2370
Union Grove Township:
Verrol Smith, 320-857-2768
Ralph and Irene Boldt, 320-276-8611
Birch Beach Store, 320-276-8298
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