Fire danger high as July 4th holiday grows close

Jul 2, 2012

Dry conditions across much of Michigan have fire safety officials on high alert. Governor Rick Snyder is considering a ban on open burning across much of the state, but won’t prohibit fireworks before the July Fourth holiday.

Officials are warning that unusually dry conditions this summer pose a threat of wildfires. The state Department of Natural Resources is already on track to burn through its firefighting budget this year. In May alone, battling the huge Duck Lake forest fire in the Upper Peninsula cost taxpayers more than three million dollars.

Governor Snyder and the Legislature relaxed Michigan’s fireworks restrictions this year. Some local governments are ordering their own restrictions because of drought conditions. A statewide order to limit open burning could also affect fireworks, but probably not before July Fourth. The DNR is recommending precautions – including having fire crews on standby for community fireworks displays.