Keep eye out for breakout of wildfires

As celebrations continue throughout the summer, the public is encouraged to put fire safety first. Fire weather danger is particularly high during this time of year, with increased wind speeds and low humidity in the forecast.

“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.”

Rogers said that most wildfires in Michigan are caused by people. “As of July 2, the DNR so far this year has responded to 213 wildfires on 1,049 acres,” he said. “Nearly half of those were caused by debris burning, campfires and fireworks.

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