ODNR DIVISION OF FORESTRY WARNS OF
INCREASED WILDFIRE RISK THROUGHOUT OHIO
COLUMBUS, OH - Weeks of hot and dry weather, followed by recent “hit-and-miss” storms and rain showers, have created potentially dangerous conditions for wildfires throughout southern Ohio, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry warned today.
“The Southern portion of the state has been experiencing rainfall deficits each month since May. These low precipitation levels, along with recent hot weather in August and early September, have created a condition of very high risk for wildfires,” said David Lytle, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “Many local fire departments in southern Ohio have been working hard to safely suppress wildfires in their communities.”
“We ask all Ohioans to use extreme caution under these volatile conditions. Improper or careless burning of debris and yard waste can lead to wildfires, threatening not only forests and grasslands, but also people, property, and wildlife” Lytle said.
Barrels used for burning debris should be covered with a mesh screen and be monitored during burning. Tools such as rakes and shovels, as well as an ample water supply, should always be available nearby. Monitor the weather, and do not burn debris on days that are exceedingly windy or warm. Be especially wary of areas, such as steep, grassy or leaf-covered slopes, where fire can get out of control in seconds. Call 911 or notify your local fire department if you see an escaped fire.
Each year, about 800 wildfires consume nearly 4,500 acres of forest and grassland in Ohio.
For Further Information Contact:
Mike Bowden, ODNR Division of Your Division
Jane Beathard, ODNR Media Relations