Monday, April 29, 2013

Vermont has experienced several brush/wildfires in just the past week.  Red Cross volunteers have responded with support for firefighters in the form of food and hydration.  Allow us to share prevention tips from the Vermont Department of Public Safety.

Vermonters can help prevent and prepare for wildfire:

• Obey all local and state laws or restrictions on open burning.

• By state law, a “Permit to Kindle Fire” (an open burning permit) MUST be obtained from the Town Forest Fire Warden and is REQUIRED before you start to burn any natural wood or vegetation outdoors. The fire warden will issue a permit if the weather and fuel conditions are favorable for a controlled burn.
• Avoid burning on dry, windy days or when Fire Weather Watches or Red Flag Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service.

• If you can legally and safely burn: Burn small piles; gradually adding to the fire as it burns down. Large piles of burning debris generate intense heat capable of carrying burning embers up and into other areas.

• Clear all dry grass and weeds from around your burn area, and around your home and out-buildings.

• Always have tools handy while you burn - including water, a hose, a rake and a shovel.

• If burning a large agricultural area, please check with your local fire department for advice about burning it safely.

• CALL 911 or your local fire department if your burn gets out of control and becomes a wildfire. If you delay calling for help, you may have disastrous results.

• DO NOT attempt to suppress a wildfire, if it cannot be done EASILY with the tools and water you have on hand.

• DO NOT burn household trash. The use of burn barrels to burn trash is illegal in Vermont.