September 9, 2021
Rain allows for easing of some wildfire-related restrictions in Minnesota
With cautious optimism, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is adjusting some wildfire-related restrictions in Minnesota due to improved field conditions. While a large portion of the state remains in drought conditions, recent rain events have decreased, though not eliminated, wildfire risk in northern and central Minnesota
Beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, this new direction replaces this season's previous DNR restrictions on burning, dispersed and backcountry camping, and mechanized activities with new burning restrictions that are more limited in both scope and geographic extent.
The new Class III restrictions affect the eastern portion of Roseau County and all of Beltrami, Becker, Cass, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Ottertail, St. Louis, and Wadena counties. These restrictions do not apply to tribal lands. Under these restrictions:
· No campfires are allowed for dispersed, remote or backcountry camping on all state, county or private lands. Camping stoves are permitted.
· Attended campfires in established fire rings associated with a home, cabin, campground or resort are allowed.
· No fireworks may be ignited on any public or private land outside city limits. People should check with their local community for any additional restrictions.
· Open burning permits are restricted.
· Areas of Closure for state lands on the Gunflint Trail and around the Greenwood Fire remain in place and are not affected by the updated burning restrictions.
State-mandated burning restrictions are being lifted in all or part of 19 counties, and restrictions are being reduced in all or part of 16 additional counties. These changes reflect reduced wildfire risks overall, while also recognizing that wildfire danger remains high in much of north and central Minnesota. Continued vigilance is needed to protect the life and property of Minnesotans.
According to DNR acting Wildfire Prevention Supervisor Allissa Reynolds, the rain, cooler temps and higher humidity have helped reduce wildfire risk. However, Reynolds cautions, "While it is prudent to make these changes now, we are not fully out of danger. It's important for people to continue to follow the restrictions that remain in place, and to understand that we will expand restrictions again if conditions indicate this is necessary."
Forrest Boe, director of the DNR's Forestry Division, thanks Minnesotans for their continued vigilance noting, "DNR deeply appreciates all of the support from Minnesotans over this long and difficult wildfire season. Everyone's efforts to follow wildfire-related restrictions and stay safe have made a difference! We all need to remain wildfire-aware and safety-focused this fall."
The updated state restrictions were developed in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service and are consistent with restrictions for the Superior National Forest, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. As noted above, the DNR's restrictions do not apply to tribal lands. Tribal governments may have their own restrictions in place.
The DNR wildland fire information webpage includes information on all restrictions and a list of affected state forests and parks.
North Woods Grizzlies students welcomed back to school... masks not needed
The 2021-2022 school year for St. Louis County Schools, including North Woods, started on Tuesday and by the looks of teachers and students, it will be a good one. The students and teachers do not have to wear masks that were mandatory last year, and that is a plus for many. School is actually getting back to normal. The 2020-2021 school year will always be one for the memories of these youngsters. They survived it and moved on. These youngsters are a very resilient group along with their teachers, the administration and staff of the school.
This year the County Schools will not have elementary students selling products for fundraisers. Adults may do fundraisers, but not students. The PTA/PTO do a lot for the schools, but elementary students may not be involved in selling items.
The St. Louis County Schools realize that COVID is still here, but there aren't any mandates on wearing masks. Each school district makes their own decision.
North Woods has purchased the majority of supplies for elementary students, so every child will have what they need on the first day of school.
School is open!
St. Louis County ends logging restrictions as conditions improve
Sept. 3 - Due to favorable weather conditions, St. Louis County is lifting the restrictions announced earlier regarding cutting and logging operations on county-managed lands in the northern part of the county. The St. Louis County Land & Minerals Department has been consulting with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) in making this decision.
It is still recommended that fire suppression equipment - such as a fire extinguisher, water tank and pump, or backpack pump - be readily available on site at all times, and that an on-site fire watch person monitor for one hour after operations shut down for the day. Current fire danger and burning restrictions can be found on the DNR website at: dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.
The Land and Minerals Department continues to monitor forest conditions in coordination with the DNR and USFS, and may implement the restrictions again if the risk of wildfire increases.
New scholarships announced by Cook Lions Club
St. Louis County board considers $156.5 million preliminary levy for 2022
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