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SAFETY ADVISORY Officials warn about wildfire conditions



Published: Sat, April 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The alert remains until vegetation greens or there is a significant rainfall.

COLUMBUS -- Warm spring temperatures combined with low humidity and locally high winds have created dangerous conditions for wildfires across the state, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources warned today.

"In the last 24 hours, we've assisted several local fire departments across Ohio in their efforts to suppress wildfires," said John Dorka, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry.

"We ask Ohioans to use extreme caution under these volatile conditions. A carelessly tossed cigarette or even the smallest unattended fire can lead to large wildfires, threatening not only fields, forests and wildlife, but also people and their homes," he said.

The advisory remains in effect until vegetation becomes fully green or the state experiences significant rainfall.

Preventive measures

State officials noted that Ohio law prohibits outdoor burning in rural areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the months of March, April, and May.

The ODNR Division of Forestry offers the following suggestions during extreme wildfire conditions:

UCancel or postpone any unnecessary burning.

UIf you must burn, do not leave fire unattended.

UAvoid the use of equipment such as cutting torches that may spark and generate a fire.

UDo not burn within 200 feet of any woodland, brushland or field with dry grass.

UUse a proper burning container or barrel with a lid.

UAlways keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case the fire escapes containment.

UCall 911 or notify your local fire department if you see an escaped fire.




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