Dry conditions in eastern U.P., DNR offers tips on how to properly burn

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MICHIGAN– As Independence Day holiday celebrations continue throughout the coming weekend, the public is encouraged to put fire safety first. Fire weather danger is expected to be particularly high Saturday and Sunday, with increased wind speeds and low humidity in the forecast. 

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather warning for today, July 6, in the northern Lower Peninsula. The warning may continue throughout the weekend as dry conditions build. Warnings are issued when wind speeds, temperatures, humidity levels and fuel conditions combine to make ideal wildfire conditions. 

Although not under a warning yet, the eastern Upper Peninsula east of M-35 also is dry and conditions may change. No rain is predicted for the area until late next week. Burn permits in some areas are restricted until conditions allow for safe burning. 

“It doesn’t take much to start a wildfire,” said DNR fire prevention specialist Paul Rogers. “Hot embers buried in ashes can flame up days after a campfire has been put ‘out.’ Even small fireworks like sparklers are hot enough to spark a fire if they’re not disposed of properly.” 

Those planning to have fires should keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Keep your fire small and manageable (no larger than 3 feet high and 3 feet wide).
  • Build your fire in a fire ring or on mineral soil.
  • Always keep a shovel, metal bucket and water source nearby.
  • When finished with your fire, douse it thoroughly with water, stir the ashes and douse again. Repeat until cool.
  • Your fire should be at least 10 feet away from logs, stumps or debris. Be sure that no branches are hanging overhead.
  • If you plan to burn yard debris, check for burn permits in your area.

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