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Fire danger high; Be careful outside

REGION – With wildfire danger expected to be high or very high across much of northern Lower Michigan and  the Upper Peninsula from now into next week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources asks people to take precautions when working and playing outside.

“Grass and leaves that were on the ground over the winter are very dry and can ignite easily from a spark or an ember,” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist with the DNR’s Forest Resources Division.

Sunday may be of particular concern, with winds becoming stronger and gusty and higher temperatures.

If you intend to burn yard debris, make sure that weather conditions are favorable. Go to Michigan.gov/BurnPermit to see if burn permits are being issued in your area.

Here are some other safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Never leave any fire unattended.
  • Keep a hose or other water source nearby when burning yard waste or enjoying a campfire or bonfire.
  • Prevent sparks. Keep trailer chains from dragging and don’t park hot equipment on dry grass.
  • Do not shoot fireworks into the woods or into dry grass or shrubs.
  • It’s illegal to burn plastic, hazardous materials, foam or other household trash. This can release dangerous chemicals into the air.
  • You can use a burn barrel with a screen on top to burn paper, leaves and natural materials.

Get more safety tips at Michigan.gov/PreventWildfires.

DNR wildland firefighters battled a total of 273 fires on about 2,370 acres statewide during 2021.

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