Controlled burn season delayed by long, cold winter

File video: Crews knock down a wildfire in Minnesota (FOX 9)

It’s the season for controlled burns in Minnesota, with the regular schedule slightly delayed due to a winter that won’t melt away.

The Department of Natural Resources says prescribed burns often start in March or April and go into May. This year, you could see burns going into June.

"This season is interesting in the fact that it's been cooler, so the snowpack has hung on longer," said Leanne Langeberg with the Department of Natural Resources.  "Having that snow cover doesn’t help with a successful burn."

Spring is the prime time for prescribed burns, as the snow has melted to reveal dry vegetation and dead brush.

Langeberg says while mid-May is when the window opens up, perfect conditions will vary by region.

"Prescribed burn activity may be active in southern Minnesota, whereas northern Minnesota is going to be a little more delayed."

The DNR says controlled burns reduce "fuel" for forest fires, and contribute in many positive ways to the natural wildlife habitat.