The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters, and everyone else outside enjoying the fall weather, to be cautious while lighting campfires and using woodstoves this season.
A warm beginning to autumn has increased the chances of a wildfire. In fact, the DNR recently responded to several fires, both in the Upper and Lower peninsulas; the largest of those was a 17-acre fire in Sanilac County.
Dan Laux, DNR fire prevention specialist, said remembering the basics of fire safety will help ensure that this hunting season isn’t ruined by a wildfire.
“Our main concerns have to do with falling leaves and dry grass, combined with embers from woodstoves and campfires,” Laux said. “The beginning of the hunting season has been a bit warmer and dryer this year, so that causes a little concern. If folks take a few extra minutes to keep fire safety in mind, it’ll help ensure that the only blaze in this woods this hunting season will be the blaze orange on our hunters.”
The DNR recommends following a few general precautions to ensure fire safety:
- Never leave a campfire or woodstove unattended.
- Clear the area of leaves and dry fuel before lighting a campfire.
- Don’t park a vehicle in dry grass.
- If a campfire gets out of control, call 911 immediately.
- Avoid outdoor burning when it is windy to prevent escape and spread of a fire.
So far this year, the DNR has responded to a total of 341 wildfires, which have burned 2,920 acres.
To learn more about the DNR’s firefighting efforts, and how to prevent wildfires, visit www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires.