Fire danger high in northern Michigan|
Michigan firefighters today reminded residents that the fire danger remains high across Northern Michigan and portions of the Upper Peninsula. Dead vegetation will dry rapidly from the recent rains, and the warm, dry weather forecast for this weekend will cause fire danger to be high.
State and federal firefighters already have responded to 442 wildfires that burned 5,926 acres this spring, and local fire departments have responded to many more wildfires. More than 13 structures have been destroyed by wildfires, and several more were damaged.
Improperly extinguished fires are among the leading reasons campfires and debris fires escape control. To maximize safety during outdoor burning, remember to: completely extinguish debris fires and/or campfires before leaving them unattended; use plenty of water to extinguish your fire and wet everything thoroughly, especially the undersides of unburned pieces; stir the ashes to find any remaining hot spots and extinguish them with more water; do not simply bury your fire with soil as, in most cases, this will not extinguish the fire; and, have a garden hose nearby in case your fire begins to escape. If your fire escapes your control, call for help immediately.
Burn permits are required for any outdoor burning, and are issued only for burning leaves, brush or stumps. Burning of other materials is prohibited. Calling for a burn permit is also the best way to get up-to-date fire danger information. During periods of high fire danger, permits may be restricted or not issued at all. 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 other exotic insects and diseases, can spread the pest 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. For more information, visit the stateís Emerald Ash Borer Website at www.michigan.gov/mda.