DNR Urges Caution in Outdoor Burning

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Most Michigan wildfires occur in spring, early summer

Most wildfires in Michigan occur during spring and early summer, and state officials are urging people to check with local fire departments or governments to see if conditions are right for burning.

As people clean up their yards and enjoy bonfires, officials from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said safeguards should be taken when a fire is present any time of the year.

Although campfires still are permitted during times of increased fire danger, the DNR urges extreme caution with all fires.

“Though fires can happen just about any time of year, most wildfires in Michigan occur in April, May and June,” said DNR Fire Supervisor Don Klingler. “The dead grass and leaves from last year are still very dry, and it only takes one escaped spark to start a wildfire.”

Klinger said residents in Lower Michigan should contact their local fire department or township office to find out if burning is permitted.

In addition, the DNR recommends people take the following steps to help prevent wildfires:

  • Pay attention to the fire danger in your area. Don’t burn debris when conditions are dry or windy.
  • Clear away flammable material surrounding a fire so that it won’t creep into dry vegetation.
  • Always have a shovel and water available when burning. Be sure to douse fires with plenty of water, stir and add more water until everything is wet.
  • Embers can reignite, so make sure they are out completely.
  • Consider composting or mulching yard debris rather than burning it.

When fire danger is extremely high, Michigan’s governor may issue a burn ban restricting all outdoor burning


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