• FIRE SAFETY: Tips to prevent wildfires

Fire Prevention Tips

Fire safety isn't just for Smokey Bear - it's your job, too! Nine out of ten wildfires in Michigan are caused by humans. Follow these tips to prevent wildfires:
  • Debris burning

    Debris Burning:

    Never leave a fire unattended

    Always keep a shovel, metal bucket and water source nearby

    Make sure you have permission to burn (burn permit)

    Keep your fire small and manageable – no larger than three feet high and three feet wide

    Do not burn on windy days or during periods of dry weather

    Consider composting or recycling yard waste instead of burning

    Your fire should be at least 10 feet away from logs, stumps or debris. Remember to make sure no branches are hanging overhead.

  • Fire break due to firewise landscaping

    At Home:

    Consider Firewise landscaping:

    Create a “fire-free” area around your home. Trim branches, mow the lawn regularly and remove dead vegetation near the home.

    Use non-flammable landscaping materials and high-moisture content plants. Water plants, trees and mulch regularly.

    Create “fuel breaks” like driveways and walkways in your yard.

  • A woman stirring ashes to ensure the fire is out.

    At Camp:

    Never leave a fire unattended

    Always keep a shovel, metal bucket and water source nearby

    Build your fire in a fire ring or on mineral soil

    When finished with your fire, douse it thoroughly with water, stir the ashes and douse again. Repeat until cool.

    Soak all used fireworks in water before discarding.

Keep it Clean

  • Fire keep it safe keep it clean logo

    What is a clean fire?

    Have you ever thought of what goes into a fire? Building fires with “clean,” materials only, meaning natural materials like trees, brush and logs, is important for protecting people and the environment. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Burning trash and hazardous materials is illegal in Michigan (Public Act 102 of 2012)
    • Burning items like plastic, foam, rubber, chemically treated wood and electronics releases cancer-causing chemicals (including gases and heavy metals) into the air
    • Ashes from burning inappropriate materials can contaminate soil and groundwater
    • It’s best to start a fire with kindling, not flammable liquids
    • Dry, well-seasoned wood creates the least amount of airborne irritants and chemicals