Use common sense on fire risks

With mild weather predicted to return to the region early next week, more people will again be heading outdoors and doing spring yard work.

That being the case, Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials urge residents to be cautious when lighting any fires outside in the weeks ahead.

“Though fires can happen just about any time of year, most wildfires in Michigan occur in April, May and June,” said DNR Fire Supervisor Don Klingler. “The dead grass and leaves from last year are still very dry, and it only takes one escaped spark to start a wildfire.”

Klingler suggested paying particular attention to the weather, and avoid any burning outside this time of year if conditions are particularly dry or windy. Anyone planning to burn leaves must first obtain a permit to do so.

“Always have a shovel and water available when burning,” he said. “Be sure to douse fires with plenty of water, stir and add more water until everything is wet.”

Enjoy the outdoors, but use common sense this time of year, especially if fires are going to be involved.