A wildland fire in Hyde Park should serve to remind all Vermonters that grass and brush fires can be dangerous. On Monday, a wind-swept fire was reported to have charred several acres, burned a garage and threatened several homes and buildings, including the County Courthouse which was evacuated as a safety precaution.
The recent weather pattern has created unsafe burning conditions. A prolonged period without rain has caused the primary fuels for wildland fires - dead grass, leaves and brush - to become dangerously dry. Fire officials with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation urge people to be aware of this danger and take steps to prevent wildland fires from starting in the first place. The majority of wildland fires in Vermont are a result of escaped fires from open burning by homeowners. All open burning must have a Permit to Kindle Fire from the Town Forest Fire Warden. Fire Wardens can restrict open burning when conditions are not safe.
In addition to obtaining a burn permit, people should:
• Clear the area around a pile of all flammable material
• Never leave the fire unattended
• Have a hose and tools like shovel or rake on hand
• Burn only natural vegetative material
• Call 911 immediately if things get out of control
The National Weather Service has developed an open burning weather awareness campaign at: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/btv/awareness/firewx/open_burning.php
For more information call 802-786-3856