Brush Fire Season Is Here
Massachusetts firefighters are working overtime this spring to keep up with brush fires breaking out across the state. Red flag warnings are being issued regularly as dry, windy conditions, aggravated by last summer’s sustained drought, create the perfect conditions for harmless backyard cookouts to break into deadly brush fires.
Firefighters are posting on Twitter and state officials are dispensing reminders for all of us to use common sense and follow the rules for backyard burns in Massachusetts.
At the very least, firefighters urge on Twitter, keep a hose nearby! When humidity is low and brush is dry, even a muffler spark can ignite a fire.
Brush fires are expensive mistakes
Beyond the obvious damage to homes and property, brush fires are difficult and time consuming to bring under control. Their unpredictable nature requires specialized training and labor-intensive approaches, consuming precious community firefighting resources.
Unfortunately, 2020 ranked among the top ten worst years for brush fires as the number of illegal, non-permitted fires skyrocketed.
Here are some basic rules that State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostrokey would like you to remember about burning materials safely on your property. We thank the Department of Fire Services for providing the following essential information:
How to Safely Burn Brush
Burn between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. with a permit from the fire warden (usually the local fire chief).
- Burn only when air quality is acceptable for burning. Local authorities will call the MassDEP Air Quality Hotline at (800) 882-1497 or visit MassAir Online to find out if it is.
- Burn only on your own property, as close as possible to the source of material to be burned, no less than 75 feet away from all dwellings, and away from utility lines.
- Have fire suppression tools handy; keep a fire extinguisher or charged garden hose, and a shovel and a rake close by.
- An adult must constantly monitor the fire. Leaving burning unattended is a reason to revoke burning permits.
- Use paper and kindling to start a fire and progressively add larger pieces of wood.
- Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start a fire. The risk of injury in these cases is too high.
- Burn one small pile at a time and slowly add to it. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control.
- Burn the fire down to the coals, drown them with water, spread them out, and then drown them again. Completely extinguish the fire before leaving.
The Hundred Club — Serving the Community
Caring, serving, and protecting all of us who live in communities throughout Boston is the motto of every police officer patrolling our streets and every firefighter responding to emergencies. At The Hundred Club of Mass., we care for those who care for us.
When a police officer or firefighter dies, in many cases, their paycheck and insurance stop before their death benefits begin, which is where the Hundred Club steps in to help. Your generosity provides immediate support to the families of these everyday heroes; funds they can rely upon to pay rent, groceries, and other bills. Help us continue the tradition of caring for those who care for us. Donate to the Survivor’s Fund: https://100clubmass.org/donate/