ODNR calls for caution during the forest fire season

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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) urges Ohio residents to learn about state outdoor burning regulations and take precautions if they plan to burn debris this autumn. Ohio law states that most outdoor debris burns are prohibited in unincorporated areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in October and November.

“It is important that people know the rules for burning during the fall fire season in Ohio to avoid unnecessary destruction of structures and property,” said Greg Guess, fire program administrator and deputy chief of the forestry division of the ODNR. “People should be careful when carrying out outdoor burns at this time of year, as weather conditions and drying fuels, such as grasses and leaves, increase the potential for forest fires.”

Burning is limited to the fall due to the abundance of dry grass, weeds and leaves on the ground. Gusts of wind and low humidity can cause a seemingly harmless fire to burn more intensely and spiral out of control. If a fire is out of control, contact the local fire department immediately. An escaped forest fire, even if it burns in grass or weeds, is dangerous.

The Forestry Division of ODNR offers these safety tips for burning debris outdoors:

—Know current and future weather conditions, have tools and water handy, and never leave debris burning unattended.

—Be aware of state and local burning regulations.

—Consult your local fire department for additional information and safety considerations.

—Visit the Ohio Division of Forestry website and firewise.org for more information and tips on protecting your home and community.

Remember: “Only you can prevent forest fires!” “

If you choose to burn for unlimited hours, use a 55 gallon barrel with a weighted screen cover to provide a closed incinerator.

Residents should check the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s open fire regulations before any outdoor fire and consult with local fire officials about burning conditions in the area. Food waste, dead animals and materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt or petroleum should never be burned. Violators of Ohio fire regulations can face citations and fines.

The Forestry Division of ODNR promotes the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private forests. To learn more about Ohio’s forests, visit the Ohio Division of Forestry website and follow us on Instagram at @odnrforestry (instagram.com/odnrforestry).

The ODNR ensures a balance between the rational use and the protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Submitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

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