The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has added several counties in the central and southeast portions of the state to the burning restrictions already in place. The additional counties were placed under tighter restrictions beginning on Oct. 7.

The new counties having limitations placed on campfires and open burning include: Aitkin, Anoka, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Dakota, Fillmore, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Isanti, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Wabasha, Washington, Winona, and Wright.

These counties are in addition to the 22 counties that were put under restrictions on Sept. 23. There are now 43 counties under the commissioner's order, prohibiting open fires other than the types of campfires described below, which can be no more than 3 feet in diameter and height.

Campfires or recreational fires outside municipalities are allowed only in a designated receptacle designed for such use and associated with a residence and staffed campgrounds such as state parks or resorts.

No burning permits will be issued to the general public, and use of fireworks will not be allowed outside of municipalities.

Check the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov for counties that have stricter regulations in place. Those seeking further information should also contact the local Sheriff's Department for exact regulations.

The DNR and other wildfire agencies in the state have brought in additional resources and placed them on a Level 5 alert, the highest planning level.

The DNR urges everyone to use extreme caution where campfires are allowed. Charcoal fires are not limited at this time, but they should not be left unattended.

Make sure fires are completely out before leaving. Dry ground can burn. People are responsible for costs to extinguish a fire if it gets away.

Recreationists should also pay attention to parking locations in the woods. Hot engines and catalytic converters can ignite fires, particularly in these dry conditions. Check that spark arrestors on recreational vehicles are working properly.

Fire conditions change quickly. For more information and maps, and to check fire conditions, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.