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E-M:/ FIRE DANGER IS VERY HIGH
Enviro-Mich message from firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a DNR press release -- I pass this along mainly to make
sure people are paying attention as they get out into the woods
at this time of year, but also to talk some about fire in our
The statistics already this year on fires show that the vast
majority are caused by PEOPLE DOING DUMB THINGS -- lightening
strikes, nature's way of doing a prescribed burn, have accounted
for less than 10% of the fires to date. ALSO, if you see smoke
or a fire, report it, don't assume someone else has already done
so. While I am a big fan of natural fire and restoring
disturbance to our native ecosystems, people dropping
cigarettes, hot sparks from ORVs, or campfires improperly put
out do NOT constitute natural disturbances!
In Michigan, we do have one of the most flammable forest
ecosystems around (jack pine) but we also have what are referred
to by one respected ecologist as the "asbestos forests", the
Northern Hardwoods forests which will burn very rarely (on
thousand year intervals). The human impact on the fire regimes
of all of our forests has been dramatic -- whether we talk about
the compromised ability of the oak savanna to persist when fire
is removed allowing other trees move in, or the holes punched
into the forest by logging and roads that make the forests more
vulnerable to excessive, human caused fires, our effect on
nature's design becomes very apparent when we talk about fires
On a related note, below is information about a Forest Service
publication that points out that logging actually increases the
risk of fires. :
FIRE WEATHER HANDBOOK REVEALS LOGGING INCREASES FIRE RISK
"Fire Weather," a 229-page Forest Service manual for all Fire
Science personnel, discusses how fire prevention characteristics
of a forest are lost by logging. Logging and logging roads open
the forest canopy and increase the temperature of air, the
ground and forest fuels, which accelerate the rate of burning of
surface fires. Opening the forest canopy also lowers humidity
of forest fuels, which increases the flammability of these
fuels, critically influences the behavior of wildlands fires and
may cause rapid and intense fire spread. The report concludes
that logging and logging roads increase the chance of wildland
fire. The handbook is available from the Government Printing
Office, Stock No. 001-000-0193-0 / Catalogue No. A 1.76:360
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 26 APR 00 CONTACT:
Arthur Sutton, 517-373-1226
FIRE DANGER IS VERY HIGH
LANSING--The danger of wildfire is very high across most of
Michigan, and the Department of Natural Resources warns the
sunny weather and low humidity the state currently is
experiencing will keep wildfire danger very high for the
next several days.
"Use caution with debris fires and campfires this week,"
said Ed Hagan, Acting Forest Management Division Chief.
"Although most of the state received extensive rain last
week, dead vegetation has dried out and will burn readily."
A permit is required before doing any outdoor burning, and
can be obtained from the Department of Natural Resources or
USDA Forest Service in the upper Peninsula and northern
lower Peninsula. Local units of government and fire
departments issue burn permits in southern Michigan.
"Calling for a burning permit is the best way to get up-to-
date fire danger information," said Hagan.
Burn permits are issued only for burning leaves, brush or
stumps. Burning of other materials is prohibited. During
periods of high fire danger, permits may be restricted, or
not issued at all.
Never leave any outdoor fire unattended, even for a moment.
Have a garden hose nearby in case your fire begins to
escape. If your fire escapes your control, call for help
Always be sure your debris fire and/or campfire is
completely extinguished before leaving it unattended.
Improperly extinguished fires are one of the leading reasons
campfires and debris fires escape control. Be sure to use
plenty of water to extinguish your fire. Wet everything
thoroughly, especially the undersides of unburned pieces.
Stir the ashes to find any remaining hot spots, and wet them
again with more water. Do not simply bury your fire with
soil--in most cases, this will not extinguish the fire.
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