Wildfire danger high: MI

Article Posted: April 16, 2003

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Wildfire danger high

State Wildfire officials today noted that, as Michigan observes Wildfire Prevention Week April 13-19, conditions in many parts of the state have created a high threat level for wildfires. Officials throughout Michigan are stressing the importance of preventing wildfires during this critical spring season.

More than 90 percent of Michigan wildfires are human-caused, with one-third caused by people burning debris. An ever-increasing number of people moving into rural areas surrounded by fire-prone vegetation make preventing wildfires in these areas a critical public safety issue for everyone.

It is extremely important that people exercise caution when burning any yard and household debris. Always obtain a burn permit before doing any outdoor burning. Obtaining a permit is the best way to get the latest information on fire danger and outdoor fire safety. When burn permits are not being issued, itís because outdoor burning is unsafe.

Be sure all debris fires and campfires are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended. Use plenty of water to extinguish an outdoor fire; covering it with soil is not sufficient. Up-to-date information on where to obtain a burn permit, the latest fire statistics and wildfire safety can be obtained from the DNR Website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Also, for those who enjoy sitting around a campfire, there is a new concern this year. The Emerald Ash Borer is a new exotic pest found in Southeast Michigan that quickly kills ash trees. Firewood infested with this, and any other exotic insects and diseases, can accidentally be spread to forests across the state. Campers and visitors to Michiganís state parks and forests are reminded to avoid transporting firewood, as this may transport insects and diseases that threaten Michiganís trees and forests. Use local sources of firewood instead.

Source: MDNR

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