DULUTH, MN — Amid a worsening drought, the Superior National Forest announced a ban on all fires within the Forest and Boundary Waters Thursday.
The tightened restrictions, which take effect immediately, include a ban on campfires in designated fire rings.
The order restricting fires in the Superior National Forest originally went into effect on July 9 with some exemptions.
However, as of Thursday, there are no longer any exemptions, and fires are banned in all parts.
The Forest Supervisor hopes these restrictions will prevent any future fires given currently active fires, dry and stressed vegetation and fire risk, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recent statewide drought warning.
Visitors are allowed to use pressurized devices with an on/off switch that are powered by gas or propane. This includes gas and propane-powered firepits, stoves, and lanterns.
In addition to fire restrictions, there are other actions that visitors can take to help reduce risk of fire:
-Avoid driving and parking vehicles, including UTVs/ATVs over tall, dry grass (vehicles cause more acreage burned than any other equipment).
-Install spark arrestors on outdoor equipment and recreational vehicles and maintain recreational vehicles, trailers, and farm equipment to minimize the potential for sparks or other sources of heat.
-Check for dragging chains before hauling campers or trailers. Dragging safety chains down the road can quickly become hot and make sparks, causing grass fires.
-Make sure your cigarette is completely out before disposing of it in a trash receptacle.