Ask a Sheriff: Has the drought in our area this year caused any problems for the Sheriff’s Office?

A: The most significant problem that the drought has caused for the Sheriff’s Office is an increase in grass fires.

Because of the drought conditions, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has stopped issuing burning permits and has prohibited campfires in Sherburne County. The DNR has rated the fire conditions in Sherburne County as Extreme, which means fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely.

With the very dry conditions, unlawful fires can pose a serious threat to life and property in Sherburne County.  The Sheriff’s Office has responded to several fires recently.

The Sheriff’s Office requests that individuals follow the rules concerning open burning.  At this time, and until conditions change, no open burning is allowed.  When conditions return to normal and open burning resumes, burning permits will again be issued, and are required for all open fires except a campfire.  “Campfire” means a fire set for cooking, warming, or ceremonial purposes, which is not more than 3 feet in diameter by 3 feet high, and has had the ground 5 feet from the base of the fire cleared of all combustible material.

Burning permits can be obtained from a DNR forestry office or any fire warden.

If you have questions about burning or open fires, you can contact the Sheriff’s Office or your local DNR office or fire warden.–Sheriff Joel Brott