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DNR: Fire risk will be high across northern lower peninsula

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Posted at 1:02 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 13:02:27-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the fire risk in Michigan is expected to move from a "high" rating to a "very high" rating over the next couple of days, advising residents to take precautions to prevent accidental fires.

“Conditions are such that fires could build quickly,” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist for the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “Especially in spring, grass can be dry enough to catch fire even if it looks green.”

So far this year, DNR fire staff have put out more than 60 fires that have burned more than 350 acres of land in the state, the DNR said.

Rogers said potential fire risk is highest in woodland areas in the southern lower peninsula and across the northern lower peninsula.

To reduce the risk of a fire, the DNR says to do the following:

• Wait to burn yard debris and do not start a fire until you check conditions at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit.
• Be careful when using all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers or other outdoor machinery. In dry conditions, even heat from a lawn mower or the exhaust pipe of an ATV can ignite dry grass. A trailer chain dragging on pavement can create sparks that ignite grass.
• Never leave any fire unattended, even for a moment. Make sure all debris and campfires are extinguished before leaving the area.
• Learn more about specific fire danger by region or find fire prevention tips.

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