DNR Hits Pause Button on All Controlled Burns
Due to the drought Michigan is experiencing, the Department of Natural Resources has temporarily halted all prescribed burns until the state gets more rain.
Every now and then a field needs to get a prescribed burning from professionals. There are a variety of reason why these are done but in all cases it is done to help wildlife, limit mosquitos and sometimes for cosmetic reasons. With the lack of rain Michigan has had so far, it is just too dangerous even for professionals to have a burn.
I have a giant pile of sticks, trees and wood scraps that I had planned to burn Memorial weekend but with this lack of rain, the pile is only getting higher until it is safe to have that burn.
According to FOX 17, Kent and Kalamazoo counties are under a severe drought and it is not safe to burn anything. Department of Natural Resources representative Paul Rogers said, "we essentially did not get much snowfall at all. A lot of what we received was actually lake effect. There wasn't much moisture in it. We actually started drying out last fall. We were in quite a severe drought late last summer, and it's just extended into now where we have a very lot to abnormal precipitation."
Now normally this time of year we get our fair share of rain in April and May and sometimes even in to June. Usually late July and most of August are pretty dry but this year its almost as if we are having August weather now and especially this weekend.
If you have plans of burning anything, even a campfire, you may want to completely avoid that idea until we get a significant amount of rain. All it takes is one stray piece of ash to land in the grass, a dry field, in the woods where the ground is covered in dry leaves and sticks or even near a barn or house. It's just to dangerous and not worth the risk.
What we need is a good solid rain that lasts for about 24 hours. The kind of rain that gets a couple inches of rain to tame down the dryness. This will help with backyard fire pits and other fires that burn lawn scraps.
If you are going camping and still want to have a campfire, make sure and check with the park or campground you are in to make sure you are following the rules. If you do have that fire, try and do it after 6 p.m. when the winds have died down but if its windy just do have the fire. Make sure you have a water source had like a five gallon bucket of water just in case.
Until we get the proper amount of rain, it is just best to avoid having fires of any kind until it is safer to do so.
If you would like to brush up on what the DNR says about fires, click here.