Burn bans implemented across Michigan to mitigate fire danger

Violations of the burning ban are a misdemeanor.
In Lansing and Jackson, there has been no measurable rain in 18 days since May 13, indicating an extreme fire risk.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 3:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 4:20 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There is an increased wildfire risk across Michigan, including areas in Mid-Michigan.

Related: Michigan DNR warn residents the consequences of sparking a wildfire

In Lansing and Jackson, there has been no measurable rain in 12 days since May 19, indicating an extreme fire risk.

The City of Lansing issued a city-wide ban on open burning due to the dry conditions Thursday. It runs through June 30.

The burning ban encompasses all open burning, including bonfires in outdoor fireplaces/fire pits or any other recreational fires anywhere within the City of Lansing.

“Lansing residents need to do their part to keep homes and neighborhoods safe from fires,” said fire chief Brian Sturdivant. “Extremely dry weather conditions across Michigan have resulted in large, preventable fires.”

East Lansing also has a burn ban in effect. More information can be found on East Lansing’s website.

Lansing Township issued a burn ban Thursday until further notice.

Meridian Township posted on Facebook night that there is a fire danger in the area, which is rising quickly due to the dry weather and increasing temperatures. The Meridian Township Fire Department issued a burn ban that runs until further notice.

Firefighters in Mid-Michigan are prepared to act swiftly as a spark can ignite and spread within seconds under dry conditions.

“It’s dry. It’s getting extremely dry,” said Lansing Fire Marshal Mark Burger. “You need to be more careful when the conditions are dry like this.”

There is a burn ban active for all of the Northeast Ingham Emergency Service Authority jurisdiction, which includes Williamston, Webberville, Williamstown, Wheatfield, LeRoy and Locke.

Delhi Township, City of Mason, Vevay Township and Aurelius Township has placed a burn ban in place until further notice. St. Johns, Greenbush and Bingham townships are also under burn bans until further notice.

The City of Dewitt issued a burn ban June 5, including in Riley and Olive Townships until further notice as dry weather continues.

Due to the dry weather, all residents are encouraged to be cautious when engaging in activities that could possibly lead to a wildfire. Camping, outdoor grills, smoking materials, chainsaws, and all-terrain vehicles all have the potential to throw a spark and ignite a fire.

“We’re a tinderbox right now,” said Delhi Township Fire Chief Brian Ball. “If we get a brush fire with the low humidity we have - I think it’s like 35% right now - along with the heat and lack of rain, it can be very, very dangerous.”

According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are under burn bans.

Michigan DNR Fire Prevention Specialist Paul Rogers noted that this type of weather usually occurs in the later months.

“Normally we get dryness like this in July and August but there are some places that haven’t seen rain for over 20 days,” Rogers said.

Even something as small as throwing a cigarette out of a car window can spark a fire, Ball cautioned. He urges everyone to take the dry conditions seriously to help reduce the risk of wildfires while waiting for rain.

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