US Forest Service Urges Caution Due to Fire Risk

Release Date: May 20, 2016

Gladstone, MI – As we move into the weekend, fire danger remains very high throughout the Upper Peninsula, and is extreme in some locations. Fire officials at the U.S. Forest Service urge residents and visitors to be cautious with the use of fire while enjoying the outdoors in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“We’re still extremely dry in many areas, and all it takes is one careless mistake for a wildfire to endanger our lives and communities,” said Jon Agner, Fire Management Officer serving Hiawatha National Forest and Ottawa National Forest. “If you see a wildfire, it is critical that you find a safe location and call 911 immediately.”

Dry conditions, warm temperatures, low relative humidity, strong winds, and potential for lightning storms are contributing to the very high fire danger levels in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Fire officials offer the following tips to go by while enjoying the area’s many outdoor recreation areas.

  • When traveling, only pull over into developed areas such as rest stops, to prevent heat from catalytic converters or exhaust emissions from sparking fires in roadside grass. Before leaving, ensure tires and brakes are in good shape as well.
  • Never throw burning matches or materials out a vehicle window.
  • Before starting campfires, verify that fires are allowed at that location. Be aware of any current restrictions that may limit or ban the use of fire in your area.
  • Campfires should only be started in designated locations and must be contained within the fire rings provided. Only burn firewood that fits entirely within the fire ring. Keep water nearby.
  • Keep debris and extra firewood away from campfires or outdoor BBQ grills.
  • Never walk away from a burning or smoldering campfire. Use water and dirt to completely extinguish the fire. The ground/coals should be cold to the touch before it is safe to leave.
  • Remember that fireworks are NEVER allowed on public lands.

For more information, contact a local National Forest office or your local fire management agency.

Janel M Crooks
Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Hiawatha National Forest
p: 906-428-5829 (M,W,Th)
p: 906-387-2512 (T,F)
c: 906-241-3017
f: 906-428-9030
jmcrooks@fs.fed.us
820 Rains Drive
Gladstone, MI 49837
http://www.fs.usda.gov/hiawatha

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