The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is urging extreme caution this weekend as dry conditions around the state have increased the likelihood of fires.
Areas ranging from southwest Michigan to the eastern Upper Peninsula are especially susceptible this weekend. Burn permits for yard debris will not be issued in many areas through the weekend. Check Michigan.gov/BurnPermit in northern Michigan or contact local municipal or fire authorities in the southern Lower Peninsula. Even if grass is green, it can still be dry and spread fire. Stands of pine trees also are particularly dry.
Here are some tips in preventing fires:
- Always make sure campfires are out completely before you turn in. To make sure the fire is extinguished, drown it with water, stir it and carefully feel to make sure it is no longer emitting heat. Always keep a water source and a shovel nearby whenever the fire is burning. Keep campfires within a ring 3 feet or less in diameter. If a fire does get out of hand, call 911 immediately.
- Do not shoot fireworks into the woods or into dry grass. When you are using fireworks in the yard, soak the grass in the area with a hose and keep the hose handy. Put used sparklers into a bucket of water, as wires can stay hot.
- When using ORVs or outdoor equipment, take steps to minimize sparks and keep hot equipment away from dry grass or brush. Ride ORVs only on trails to avoid starting a grass fire.