Mid-Michigan townships issue burn bans
THOMAS TWP., Mich. (WNEM) – Thomas Township, along with many other areas across the state, put a burn restriction in place Tuesday, May 30 due to the dry conditions.
“Our weather has been extremely dry. That’s making all of the foliage very, very dry and it just makes it super easy for fires to start and get spreading,” said Thomas Township Fire Chief Michael Cousins.
These conditions led Thomas Township to put a burn restriction in place Tuesday until further notice. Cousins said the burn restriction is not a complete burn ban.
“Recreational fires are allowed,” he said. “We’re asking people to use extra caution on that. When we say recreational fire, think about it as, ‘I’m going to roast a marshmallow.’ It’s going to be something small, maybe a two-by-three, three-by-three area. Really nothing larger than that, keeping it really small.”
Cousins said with the lack of rain we’ve had, it’s no surprise that a burn restriction has been issued.
“We use a Great Lakes fire and fuels website that we use as our guide. And that has us in the extreme, which is the highest level, if you will,” Cousins said.
Thomas Township isn’t the only community with burn restrictions in place.
“James Township, Richland Township, Tri-Township, Tittabawassee, Kochville, and us are all doing the exact same thing. We’ve all implemented that today. I’m sure that there are many other area fire departments that have also implemented burn restrictions,” Cousins said.
He added the burn restriction will remain in effect until mid-Michigan receives a sizeable amount of rain. In the meantime, he’s asking residents to understand.
“Just appreciate people’s patience. I know everybody wants to have their fires and they want to do their things,” Cousins said. “You know, try to be respectful about it to honor what people would like to do, but at the same time, we want to keep people safe.”
In Buena Vista, all current burn permits have been suspended, and no new burn permits will be issued until weather conditions improve.
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