SPRING FIRE SEASON IS HERE|
LANSING--With the cold, wet weather we've been experiencing
forecasted to end over the next few days, the Department of
Natural Resources cautions the spring fire season will
quickly return. Dry grass and leaves respond quickly to
changes in weather, and will be ready to burn again as soon
as the weather warms if no additional rain is received.
"It's been a busy fire season so far," said John Robertson,
DNR Forest Management Division Chief. "DNR and U.S. Forest
Service firefighters already have responded to more than 220
wildfires that have burned 2,020 acres. This is about double
what we had experienced at this time last year."
April 16-22 is Wildfire Prevention Week. "This is an
opportunity to be aware of the danger of spring wildfires,
and the part each person plays in preventing unwanted human-
caused wildfires," Robertson said. "Over half of the
wildfires this spring have been caused by people doing
outdoor burning, and each of these fires could have been
A permit is required before doing any outdoor burning, and
can be obtained from the Department of Natural Resources or
USDA Forest Service in the Upper Peninsula and northern
lower Peninsula. Local units of government and fire
departments issue burn permits in southern Michigan.
Burn permits are issued only for burning leaves, brush or
stumps. Burning of other materials is prohibited. During
periods of high fire danger, permits may be restricted, or
not issued at all.
"Calling for a burning permit is the best way to get up-to-
date fire danger information," said Robertson.
Never leave any outdoor fire unattended, even for a moment.
Have a garden hose nearby in case your fire begins to
escape. If your fire escapes your control, call for help
Always be sure your debris fire and/or campfire is
completely extinguished before leaving it unattended.
Improperly extinguished fires are one of the leading reasons
campfires and debris fires escape control. Be sure to use
plenty of water to extinguish your fire. Wet everything
thoroughly, especially the undersides of unburned pieces.
Stir the ashes to find any remaining hot spots, and wet them
again with more water. Do not simply bury your fire with
soil--in most cases, this will not extinguish the fire.