Wildfire Prevention Tips 

The fire danger was high this past weekend, keeping many local fire departments busy.Tuesday’s rain has reduced the danger, for now.As Meghan Hayward tells us, there are important steps anyone involved in a controlled burn should follow to keep things from getting out of control.” Most of our fires are caused by people accidentally. If they’re burning debris they tend to think the fire is out and they go to sleep or go away for a few hours and the wind picks up and will kind of carry that fire. So we want people to make sure they attend their fires and make sure they’re totally out before they leave the area.”You need a burn permit.Fire departments inspect sites to make sure they’re legal and have no exposures.”We go by class day. We go to the Maine State Forestry website and see what the class day is. If it’s anything below a three we usually issue a permit.””We work with the National Weather Service and get their weather prediction and combine them with our readings of about how dry the forest fuels are. In other words the small needles and leaves and twigs on the ground. We have a way of measuring how the moisture content is in those.”The Forest Service has tips on how homeowners can protect their homes from wildfires too.”And one of the easiest things is to try to create what we call a defensible space, which is about 30 feet or so between your home and the forest area that is kind of clear of vegetation. So nothing can burn to carry a fire from the woods to your house.”Even though there is rain in the forecast, it doesn’t mean the fire danger will immediately drop or stay at low.”Even though it’s come down to low today. We’re going to inspect sites just because personally we don’t feel there is enough rain yet.””It really takes a half inch or so of rain to make a difference.”