ISHPEMING — As spring warms up and summer approaches, so does the chances of wildfires. But, with proper care and preventative maintenance, the number of wildfires can be limited.
Those who choose to create a fire of any form are strongly encouraged to keep dead vegetation and leaves away from the area, stay with the fire at all times and to have water or a fire extinguisher available. To borrow a line from Smokey the Bear, Only You can prevent forest fires.
“Year after year the number one cause of wildfires in Michigan is caused by debris burning. One of the most important things to do is if you’re burning yard waste you need to get a burn permit. They’re free, you can get them online or by calling the 800 number,” said Bryce Avery, a Fire Specialist for the DNR. “If you’re burning in an approved burn barrel, the same thing, you want to make sure it doesn’t escape.Even though some areas are still snow covered, we’re seeing areas of bald grounds showing up from south to north across the U.P. This time of the year, the fine fuels are all dead from last year and they don’t hold much moisture and they dry out very quickly,”
Instead of burning leaves, mulch, and other vegetation, there are safer, non–burning alternatives such as using the materials for composting or you can simply recycle them.