This year's dry winter means Minnesota's annual spring burning ban will go into effect earlier than usual.
When the snow melts and vegetation dries out, much of the state is at high risk for wildfires, typically in April and May.
But without much snow this year, the Department of Natural Resources says it will not allow people to burn brush or yard waste, effective Monday, until enough green vegetation grows.
"Normally, if we get a normal snowfall and a repeated snowfall, it lays the vegatation down, and when it lays down it doesn't dry out as fast. And it's a little hard to get ignited. And it doesn't have the flame length and spread capabilities that it does this year.">>
The burn ban covers most of Minnesota, said Larry Himanga, DNR wildfire prevention coordinator.
"Those individuals who have a burning permit, they have to activate their permit every time they want to burn, and we just won't allow activations for general permits at this time."
Campfires are allowed, Himanga said, but campers must keep a close eye on the flames and make sure the ashes are cold before packing up.