Just think about it -- marshmallows slowly warming over a bonfire. You’re sitting in a nice camping chair and enjoying the weather. Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, the Department of Natural Resources wants you to take some precautions to protect yourself, your property and nature. When things start to dry out, the combination of dry weather and dry grasses and leaves can equal danger.
“Nine out of 10 wildfires in Michigan are caused by people, but following a few simple fire safety tips can reduce the risk for everyone,” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Rogers has some safety tips to keep in mind this spring:
- Check for permission before you light the fire.
- In the southern Lower Peninsula, check with your local fire authorities.
- For the northern Lower and Upper peninsulas, go online at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit or call 866-922-BURN (866-922-2876) to make sure conditions are appropriate for safe burning.
- Clear the area of dry grass and leaves down to mineral soil. Keep your fire at least 10 feet away from any logs, stumps or other debris.
- Never leave any fire unattended, even for a moment.
- Keep a hose or other water source nearby.
- When you’re finished burning, douse your fire with water, stir the ashes and douse again before leaving the site.
- If you are operating an ORV, power tools or other machinery, remember that a hot muffler or engine can ignite dry leaves or grass, so keep machines away from those and other potential fuel sources. Trailer chains dragging on pavement can also cause sparks that could start a fire.
- Get more fire safety tips at Michigan.gov/PreventWildfires.