With an expected fire risk rating of “high” to “very high” across much of Michigan for the next few days, the Department of Natural Resources advises everyone to take precautions to prevent accidental fires.
“Conditions are such that fires could build quickly,” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist for the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “Especially in spring, grass can be dry enough to catch fire even if it looks green.”
DNR fire staffers have fought more than 60 fires that burned more than 350 acres in the state so far this year.
Rogers said potential for fire is highest in woodland areas in the southern Lower Peninsula and across the northern Lower Peninsula. New snow today has lessened fire risk in much of the Upper Peninsula, but there still are areas of concern.
To reduce the risk of fire, you can:
- Wait to burn yard debris and do not start a fire until you check conditions at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit.
- Be careful when using all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers or other outdoor machinery. In dry conditions, even heat from a lawn mower or the exhaust pipe of an ATV can ignite dry grass. A trailer chain dragging on pavement can create sparks that ignite grass.
- Never leave any fire unattended, even for a moment. Make sure all debris and campfires are extinguished before leaving the area.
- Learn more about specific fire danger by region or find fire prevention tips.
Burn permits are required statewide. For the northern Lower and Upper Peninsulas, you can get permission to burn online at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit. Elsewhere, contact your local municipality or fire department.
Besides safe burning practices, it also is important to continue safe social distancing of 6 feet or more when working outside with others to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus.