Notice of Restricted Outdoor Burning in Rice County

Effective immediately, we have been directed by our DNR Regional office to implement Burning Permit Restrictions in our counties.  Restrictions mean that (in an electronic burning permit county) the only burning permits that can be activated and legally burned are variance permits. A variance is a burning permit issued for over 1 acre of grass and special permits issued for large piles such as for a road construction activity or similar projects. Variances are issued by a forester and not fire wardens or purchased online. Grass fires will occur after just one drying day in spring so fire danger can change quickly this time of year.   Once green up occurs, restrictions may be lifted and regular burning is again allowed.

Burning Permit Restrictions with variances allowed are on due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The intention is to limit interactions between those who write the permits and those who come into offices to get them.  There are also concerns about first responder availability if a fire were to get away.  We are waiting for the spike in cases to come down before we lift the restrictions.

During Restrictions, regular burning permits purchased online by an individual and permits issued by a Fire Warden cannot be activated.

In a non-electronic permit county where permittees call a dispatch center before burning, the dispatcher would need to tell the person that their permit cannot be used unless it is for a running fire or a special issued pile permit.

3’ x 3’ recreational fires are still allowed if weather conditions are good.  Thanks for your attention and understanding.  Be safe and stay healthy. 


Joe Brown, Minnesota DNR, (507) 522-5062

Troy Dunn, Rice County Sheriff, (507) 332-6034


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