March 7, 2007
OHIO'S SPRING WILDFIRE SEASON ARRIVES
More about wildfires in Ohio
CHILLICOTHE, OH Ohioans planning to burn debris outdoors this spring are urged to take extra precautions and follow the state’s outdoor burning regulations, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry.
Ohio law states that outdoor debris burning is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the months of March, April, and May. Burning is limited during the spring because of the abundance of dry fuel on the ground, when the moisture-rich vegetation has not yet arrived.
“Some 760 wildfires were reported during last year’s spring wildfire season, burning more than 3,600 acres,” said John Dorka, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “Longer daylight hours combined with gusty spring winds provide increased risk for wildfires. All it takes is a little wind to cause a debris fire to escape control and spread.”
If a fire does escape control, immediately contact the local fire department. An escaped wildfire, even one burning in grass or weeds, is dangerous. Violators of Ohio’s burning regulations are subject to citations and fines. Residents should also check Environmental Protection Agency regulations and consult with local fire officials about burning conditions.
The Division of Forestry offers the following safety tips for burning debris outdoors:
- Consider using a 55-gallon drum with a weighted screen lid to provide an enclosed trash incinerator.
- Know current and future weather conditions, and have suppression tools on hand.
- Be informed of state and local burning regulations.
- Consult the local fire department for additional information and safety considerations.
Wildfire prevention and education efforts are supported by sales of Smokey Bear license plates which can be purchased through local deputy registrar offices, on the Internet at OPLATES.com, or by calling toll free 1-888-PLATES3 (752-8373).