Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources suspended all outdoor burning permits today, after issuing a red flag warning.
The high alert stems from strong winds, shifting temperatures, and a drop in humidity, all of which support extreme fire behavior.
“Temperatures are going to be warmer, into the 70’s, and there are strong winds, possibly around the 30 mph gust range, and humidity is down into the teens. This is going to significantly increase the risk for wildfires today. Any open burning should try to be avoided at all costs. We’re not issuing any burn permits. When humidity is this low, even a cigarette can cause a fire on a day like today,” explained Bryce Avery, a Fire Specialist at the DNR.
The DNR advises homeowners to remove dead leaves and pine needles from your yard and to keep your grass mowed and watered.
Although the warning is only for today, fire season has just begun.
“This is also the worst time of our year when fuels haven’t greened up from the year before. The dead fuels and conifers have a low moisture content. So the potential for wildfires are greatest this time of year,” Avery added.
The DNR urges anyone who sees a small fire in their neighborhood to call 911 right away.