State officials are reminding residents to be aware of forest fire dangers during the spring fire season, with the official forest fire danger level having been listed as Very High on Friday, May 3.
Any permit to burn brush is not valid when the forest fire danger is rated as High, Very High, or Extreme.
State officials said elevated forest fire danger levels are predicted this weekend and early next week.
The daily forest fire danger level is available on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/forestfiredanger.
Read the city of Shelton’s open burning ordinance:
Outdoor cooking and camping fires
Officials at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) are urging residents this weekend to be especially careful with outdoor cooking and camping fires. Having a water source and a few hand tools nearby are proven prevention tools that can quickly extinguish any stray embers, they said.
“Connecticut has already had 52 reported human-caused brush fires this year that have burned more than 160 acres and more are being reported every day,” said DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen. “Several of this year’s brush fires have been large by Connecticut standards, including one in Roxbury that burned more than 30 acres.”
Was brush fire in Shelton this week
A brush fire in Shelton on Rocky Rest Road on Wednesday, May 1 burned about an acre, and allegedly was started by a homeowner attempting to burn things in a controlled fire.
“There has been little rain lately and continued dry conditions are forecast for the next few days, so everyone needs to be extra diligent while they are outside,” Whalen said.
DEEP’s Division of Forestry constantly monitors the danger of forest fire 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
DEEP encourages residents of Connecticut to protect their families and homes from forest fire by:
— 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 that 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 that 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 and soaking them with water before dumping them.
For more information on fire safety, call DEEP’s Forestry Division at 860-424-3630.