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Environment & Climate Change

We're close to the start of wildfire season in Michigan

a helicopter flies over a wildfire
The U.S. Army on Flickr
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Flickr

As April approaches, the chance for wildfires increases. Most Michigan wildfires occur in April, May or June with few a few minor fires happening throughout the rest of summer and into fall.

Wildfire prevention specialist with the Department of Natural Resources Dan Laux says this spring is already shaping up to be warmer and drier than those in the past. The snow melting so early may mean wildfire season could come sooner, but with the ground remaining damp for a while, Laux isn't too concerned.

In order to prevent fires from spreading, Laux says it's important to make sure burn permits are in order and that you are in attendance of the fire at all times, including making sure it is completely out before leaving.

According to Laux, wind is often the biggest factor in fires, and he stresses that conditions can change.

The Duck Lake fire in the Upper Peninsula only a few years ago burned more than 20,000 acres and destroyed many structures in the area, making it one of the worst Laux can remember in Michigan.

But Laux assures us that the department is prepared for fires of this size.

"If resources become scarce we can bring in equipment, manpower and air resources from out of state or even Canada with some of the agreements we have in place," Laux says.

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