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Burning permits suspended to reduce strain on emergency responders

Brandon Weathers
Updated: April 13, 2020 10:56 PM

As this spring's wildfire season coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic, the DNR is working to reduce stressors on an already taxed emergency response network by restricting burning.

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The DNR is suspending burning permits until further notice across Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. As of April 13, Michigan DNR said open burning is permitted and debris fires are allowed for Ontonagon and Gogebic Co. if proper precautions are taken.

In the City of Duluth, recreational fires are still allowed provided that they meet the typical criteria.

City of Duluth fire marshal Sandy McComb said, “Any kind of recreational fire right now, make sure you’re attending it, it should be no bigger than three feet in diameter, two feet in height, clean wood."

Recreational burning rules may vary with municipality, so anyone uncertain about their area should cverify with the local fire department.

But as COVID-19 concerns continue, McComb asks that even recreational fires are limited so that emergency responders can keep the focus on combating the virus.

"With the coronavirus, people are stuck at their home and they want to clean up. But just try and remember part of the burning ban is not only for this dry season," McComb said, "It's just one less thing the fire department has to worry about if everybody is being responsible."

McComb stressed the importance of properly disposing cigarettes. The city responded to two smoking related fires late Sunday night.

When burning recreationally, McComb said it's important to keep a close eye on the weather conditions. Fire risks are updated for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan daily.

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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