Red flag warning issued for forest fires throughout Connecticut

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CONNECTICUT (WTNH) – The Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is warning residents across the state that any outdoor fire this afternoon could get out of control very quickly.

DEEP officials said all open burning permits are suspended even if a resident has a permit from the local burning official and residents are reminded to be extra cautious with any outdoor cooking fires today.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for all of Connecticut from noon to 8:00 p.m.

Low relative humidity, below 30 percent, along with winds gusting to over 30 mph this afternoon could allow a fire to spread quickly and be difficult to control the fire because of the winds.

DEEP’s Division of Forestry is constantly monitoring the dangers of forest fires and how to help protect Connecticut’s 1.8 million acres of forested land. Forest fire danger levels are classified as low, moderate, high, very high or extreme.

Forest Fire Prevention Tips:

  • Making a fire safe zone around your house. Clean flammable vegetation and debris from at least 30 feet around the house and any outbuildings.
  • Pruning away the lower limbs of evergreens that are within the fire safe zone. Evergreens catch fire easily during dry periods and burn quickly.
  • Removing any limbs which overhang the roof or chimney.
  • Regularly removing leaves and needles from gutters.
  • Not storing firewood in the fire safe zone.
  • Using fire resistant roofing materials.
  • Making sure firefighters can find and access your home. Mark your house and roads clearly and prune away limbs and trees along your driveway which do not allow fire truck access.
  • Having an escape plan and practicing it.
  • Following state and local open burning laws.
  • Staying with outside fires until they are completely safe and dead out.
  • Disposing of wood ashes in a metal bucket, soaking them with water before dumping them.
  • For those who enjoy the use of Connecticut’s parks, forests, and open spaces, use fires with caution and follow these recommendations.
  • Obey local laws regarding open fires, including campfires.
  • Keep all flammable objects away from fire.
  • Have firefighting tools nearby and handy.
  • Carefully dispose of hot charcoal.
  • Drown all fires.
  • Extinguish smoking materials with caution.

For more information on fire safety, contact DEEP’s Forestry Division at (860) 424-3630 or you can visit the DEEP website here.

 

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