The beautiful spring weather of recent days is contributing to an up-tick in brush fires across the region. Most of the 648 brush fires reported in Massachusetts since the beginning of the year have occurred in the last three weeks. 67 were reported this past Sunday alone, with nearly as many on Tuesday. Dave Celino, the state’s Chief Fire Warden says, that’s largely due to lack of rain, higher temperatures and very low humidity.
“The grasses have greened up considerably and they’re pretty much out of play when it comes to fire danger. But the leaf litter and the brush in the forest under story have become extremely dry and are very receptive to fire.”
Fortunately, Celino says, the lack of high winds is helping to keep the fires from spreading. But he says the fire danger will persist until the trees get their leaves to shade the dry brush, and until the region gets at least an inch of rain.
“The flick of a match or the flick of a cigarette butt is probably going to start a fire. And so the public needs to be aware of that. If they are camping and they have a campfire out there or they’re burning in their backyard, they need to make sure that those fires are monitored all the time and that when they’re done, that they’re completely out cold using water to do so.”
The National Weather Service says little to no rain is forecast at least through early next week. Celino says this has been a more typical fire season, historically speaking. Last year, a lack of snow pack brought a much earlier start to the season.