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Fire risk across much of Michigan is high this weekend, DNR says

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Posted at 11:46 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 14:37:50-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is warning Michiganders of a high to very high fire risk across much of Michigan over the next few days.

“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 over 350 acres in the state this year.

THe highest risk can be in woodland areas in the southern Lower Peninsula and across the northern Lower Peninsula. Snow on Friday in the Upper Peninsula has lessened the risk, but there are still 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.