"The activity is pretty high right now,” said Lt. Micah Genzlinger of the South Burlington Fire Department. So far, Lt. Genzlinger says South Burlington hasn't seen any major brush fires.
"We've had a couple minor fires, we had one fire over on Market Street that was about an acre," Genzlinger said.
Another small mulch fire popped up in Williston Thursday afternoon, with a larger five acre brush fire in Vernon.
Every year New York and Vermont each see about 130 to 170 brush fires, and although most of those burn less than ten acres at a time, they're still a big drain on resources.
"Not all of the departments in the state are a hundred percent equipped to handle brush fires or grass fires, or forest fires, so a lot of our departments are just using structural firefighting gear. It can be cumbersome for the guys, and it can be a lot of work for all the department,” Genzlinger added.
Genzlinger says there's more fuel for fires this season too. Since winter snows started early, many didn't have time to clean up their yards or nearby woods. Plus, numerous ice storms downed more branches than usual.
"A lot of debris on the ground and in the woods right now, which obviously won't grow and will increase the level of the fire danger throughout the season because there's so much material on the ground that's able to be burned.”
The easiest way to prevent brush fires, don't burn on high risk days. In New York, in fact, burning is banned through May 14. If you do burn, make sure to have a water source nearby in case the fire spreads.
The fire risk will go down by the weekend as rain arrives.
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