Forest fire threat

With the approaching Memorial Day weekend, officials of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont are now urging the public to be extremely careful with all types of outdoor fires as temperatures rise and we continue to see drying trends throughout New England.

Fire officials request that people be extremely careful with any outdoor fires, especially over the next several weeks as warmer and dry weather is projected in the forecast. Warm afternoon temperatures, low relative humidity, and gusty, dry winds encourage the spread of wildfire.

Combined with dry, dead grass and fallen branches from last year, it doesn’t take much for a small fire to get out of control. The most common causes of wildfires are escaped debris burns and equipment (machine) caused fires. Most of these fires are caused by people leaving fires unattended and are preventable. Either the fire gets away from them, or they fail to fully extinguish the fire and it rekindles.

The U.S. Forest Service headquartered in Rutland is advising the public to check with their local fire warden before burning any brush piles on private property. Burn permits are required for homeowners when burning brush in Vermont.

Firefighting crews totaling 85 men and women from Killington, Pittsfield, Bridgewater, Stockbridge, Rutland Town, Rutland City, Proctor, Bethel, Barnard, Clarendon, and the state battled a May 16 forest fire in the Green Mountains near U.S. Route 4 and Vermont Route 100. The fire lines the teams put down helped keep the fire contained.

Crews suppressed hot spots and built additional fire lines.

Many Americans believe that lightning starts most wildfires. In fact, nine out of 10 wildfires nationwide are started by humans, according to the USFS.

Republished from 5/18 Sun Community News

Categories: Environment

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