Learn before you burn: fire agencies urge caution

With multiple agencies responding to out of control burns of late, they’re asking you to be extra cautious.

“It only takes a split second for you to turn your back on your fire,” said Lt. Ben Nehf, Rural Metro Fire. “The wind [can] pickup, carry some embers, and then we have an out-of-control fire.”

Lt. Nehf says they’ve had three escaped open burns since Friday. And every day, he says they’re getting more and more calls about out-of-control burns.

“It’s the people that are doing it late in the afternoon, large burn piles, lighting them off… walking away,” he said.

Lt. Nehf says that’s extremely dangerous.

He says lighting burn piles is something many people are allowed to do, but that privilege comes with responsibility.

“Know your location, know what restrictions are in place, know if it’s a burn day,” said Ashley Blakely, Fire District 3.

Blakely says they’ve also responded to multiple escaped burns that turned into grass fires.

“Those light and flashy fuels like grass [and] tall, dry grass, those can become dry very, very quickly. So, making sure you have a safe area around your burn pile is also essential,” she said.

Although fire agencies say they understand the need to burn before fire season approaches, they say you still have to ensure you’re doing it safely.

“Stay in attendance, keep vigilant on it, try to keep it small,” said Lt. Nehf. “You don’t want a big ten foot burn pile which is just going to have ripping flames and send embers everywhere.”

For the latest rules and regulations about burning safely, visit your fire district’s website.

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