Dustin Dienst, Faribault Fire Chief, told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today the excuses are getting a little old for people using burning barrels when they are illegal in Minnesota.

They have been illegal for over 50 years.

The Faribault Fire Department was called to battle a grass fire Saturday that charred approximately 20 acres in Walcott Township.

The cause was someone burning garbage in a burning barrel.

Dienst says firefighters spent 3 hours of their holiday weekend bringing the fire under control.

"A fire that never should have happened in the first place." He stated.

Clean wood is the only thing that can be burned Dienst pointed out saying furniture and other garbage can be "toxic" due to chemicals making them harmful to human health.

The fire charred a field, some CRP acreage and woods.

Dienst has heard all the excuses over the years from 'We've always done this in the country" to "I didn't know it was illegal."

It's been illegal to burn household waste in Minnesota since 1969.

Only farm households that have NO garbage pickup service available to them, as determined by their county board, are permitted to bury or burn some household waste items and only if specific environmental guidelines are followed.

Refuse service is available in Rice County.

Dienst also spoke about last week's severe weather that came through the area causing damage in Rice County.

The Rice County Board of Commissioners have called a special meeting for Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 8:15 a.m. to discuss passage of a resolution declaring a State of Emergency in the county due to last Tuesday's storm damage.

A number of public utility poles in the county came down in the storm which Dienst said developed over Faribault before moving east.  "That's why the sirens never went off."

"Usually we get a weather story from our neighbors that severe weather is coming.  This time it started here," the City of Faribault Emergency Mangement Director stated.

He indicated after speaking with the Public Works Department that the city will not be declaring their own emergency.  In part because all the cities will be included in the county declaration and the combined county total might get to the level of state or federal assistance.

We showed you some of the damage along Glynview Trail in Faribault last week.  Just east of town there was some extensive damage along HIghway 60 also.

The Old Prairieville Cemetery had a lot of tree damage.

Old Prairieville Cemetery Tree Damage April 2022. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Old Prairieville Cemetery Tree Damage April 2022. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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There is a plaque in the cemetery put up by Friends of Old Prairieville Cemetery in 2017 talking about it's restoration.

The plaque says in part, "According to the History of Rice County, published in 1882 this cemetery was located on the farm of early settler, William Owens, having been laid out in 1860.  The first interment here was the remains of Mrs. Warren who died in April 1855 and who was removed from her former resting place to these grounds as soon as it was laid out."

A plat of the 65 gravesites was made and filed with the Rice County Recorder's Office.

According to the plaque, "Not long after the last burial in 1909 the cemetery had been abandoned."

The graves of two Civil War Veterans and a War of 1812 Veteran lay buried there.

In 2007 a relative of one of the buried formed a nonprofit volunteer board called Friends of Old Prairieville Association to undertake the work of restoring the cemetery.

Old Prairieville Cemetery 1860-1909 was abandoned shortly after the last burial. Restoration began in 2007 and was completed in 2014. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Old Prairieville Cemetery 1860-1909 was abandoned shortly after the last burial. Restoration began in 2007 and was completed in 2014. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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A recording of the AM Minnesota program for Monday, April 18, 2022 is available below.

There were a few of these last week.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

Thank Heavens last week's severe weather damage probably won't reach these levels.

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