Michigan officials planning controlled fires this spring

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Posted at 8:05 AM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 08:20:20-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — If people in rural Michigan see smoke in the sky this spring, it won't necessarily mean there's a problem.

The state Department of Natural Resources is planning a number of "prescribed" fires around the state. They're typically ignited in spring and fall.

The staged burns are done to help control invasive species and create wildlife habitat. Officials say they remove potential fuel for wildfires while promoting growth of some forest types, especially pine, along with grasslands and prairies. They also provide a good training opportunity for firefighters.

The DNR says it works closely with local officials in areas where burns are planned. Weather is carefully monitored and burns are canceled if conditions are unfavorable.