2012-07-07 / News

Fire danger is high

COLUMBUS – Ohio residents statewide are urged to take special precautions during this extremely dry summer weather, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Forestry. A lack of rain and increasing high temperatures allow dried grasses, weeds, leaves and crops to become fuels for wildfires, and these conditions may continue throughout the summer months.

“We are asking all residents, woodland owners and farmers to be very aware of their surroundings during this dry time,” said Robert Boyles, chief and state forester of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “Our state is exceptionally dry this summer, and these conditions are ideal for spontaneous wildfires.”

Ohioans can protect themselves from accidental wildfires by making smart choices. These include avoiding burning trash and debris; keeping grass trimmed; not discarding cigarettes and other smoking materials outside; proper care of open cooking fires and campfires; and being vigilant with equipment that produces heat and sparks such as catalytic converters, hot mufflers, welding equipment and chainsaws.

If people see a wildfire, they should call 911 immediately and not attempt to put it out.

“Ohio is having several small, human-caused wildfires,” said Boyles. “It is clear that conditions are leading to increased problems with wildfire, and we ask all Ohio residents to be careful.”

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