DNR encourages homeowners to compost, not burn

Annual burning restrictions coming soon

In an effort to prevent wildfires, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges woodland property owners to compost their yard waste rather than burn it. 

“Burning should be a last resort for yard waste—especially in April and May, when wildfire risk is especially high,” said Casey McCoy, fire prevention supervisor. “Composting prevents wildfires and reduces air pollution, so it’s the safest possible way to manage yard debris.”

The University of Minnesota Extension offers a step-by-step guide to composting yard waste on its website.

For landowners who feel they must burn yard debris, now is the time to do it. That’s because annual burning restrictions will take effect immediately after snowmelt occurs, which will happen soon in parts of Minnesota. Three inches of snow significantly reduces the chances that a fire will escape and burn unintended areas or endanger lives, homes, and neighboring properties. If a yard waste fire does escape, the homeowner is responsible for any damage it does to nearby property.

Although a DNR burning permit is not required in many locations where there is sufficient snow, be sure to check local regulations prior to burning. Once burning restrictions are issued, debris burning will be banned, and no permits issued, until further notice.

For information and daily updates on open burning restrictions and current fire danger, visit the burning restrictions page.