In Michigan
9:34 am
Mon April 13, 2009

State urges wildfire precautions

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (WKAR) - Michigan's spring wildfire season is arriving.

State forest officials say the greatest wildfire risk is usually between mid-April and Memorial Day.

Dead leaves, grass and sticks are drying out quickly.

New, more fire-resistant growth hasn't developed yet.

And as the weather improves, homeowners are cleaning yards and burning the waste.

Michigan DNR officials say stands of pine trees are most vulnerable to wildfires.

New needles take moisture from existing ones, creating more tinder.

And they say winter-preciptiation levels often don't matter.

Dead grass, leaves and twigs are dry enough that fire can spread quickly.

The DNR requires a burn permit before setting fire to yard waste.

The free permits are available at Michigan.gov/burn permits.