Farmington, Dakota County under a complete burning ban
If you want to have a campfire in your backyard this weekend, you're out of luck. Dakota County is now under a burning ban, issued by the Department of Natural Resources and Dakota County fire departments.
Stories of grass fires in the northern part of the state have been part of the daily news for weeks. Only, it wasn't until last week when Dakota County -- including Farmington -- was placed on the DNR's restricted burning list. On Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a fire weather warning because with the dry conditions, coupled with the gusts of wind up to 35 miles per hour, a small grass fire could become a large fire quickly.
The ban on all burning was issued late Tuesday.
"The weather warning has to do with it being so dry," Farmington fire marshal John Powers said Monday. "We see the grass die, leaves fall to the ground. The vegetation doesn't have much moisture in it. The fuel is ripe for a fire to ignite and spread fast. With days like today, with pretty good winds and relative low humidity, the danger of a fire spreading and spreading fast is very real."
The ban is on all fires, including controlled campfires on residential properties. The ban also prohibit residents from burning things like yard waste or building materials, Powers said.
"This is the first time we've issued a county-wide ban, including the recreational fires, because of the conditions," Powers said.?"It will be in effect until we get significant moisture."
Even though rain is in the forecast for this weekend, Powers suspects the ban will be in place for much longer.
"We're just trying to prevent a tragedy. A small fire can take an acre or two, but then it can rapidly grow. This kind of weather is especially dangerous, and it's really been this way for most of the year," Powers said.
"I hate to say it, but I really think we're going to be pretty tough on all burns until we get some snow cover. Until we get that snow cover, we're not out of the woods totally."
A link to the DNR's burning restrictions and requirements is available on the city's website, ci.farmington.mn.us.