Freilinger said the ban went into effect Friday, Oct. 13. "There should be no burning of any kind until further notice," he said.
Freilinger did not advise homeowners to burn any leaves on the ground or from a burning barrel.
The ban was placed in effect because of the extreme dry conditions. On WCCO last week, Paul Douglas mentioned the St. Cloud area rainfall was eight inches below normal. Freilinger said Paynesville received less moisture because St. Cloud had rain on occasions that Paynesville did not.
Sheriff Mike Hirman said area fire departments throughout the county have been dispatched to various grass fires, exhausting personnel and in some instances had equipment damaged or destroyed.
With all of these circumstances, burning in barrels will not be permitted until sufficient moisture has been received. Fires have started by using burning barrels for burning trash. Also, all existing burning permits are now invalid. Any permit that was issued and has not expired will be invalid, said Sheriff Hirman. As with all previous bans, there will be no new burning permits issued until the burning ban is lifted.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in conjunction with the Meeker County Sheriff's Department, has been enforcing statutes and regulations. The burning ban will stay in effect until significant rainfall has occurred.
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