OPEN DEBRIS BURNING PROHIBITED IN THE UPPER PENINSULA.

WILDFIRE DANGER IS CURRENTLY VERY HIGH.

As warm, dry weather persists this week in Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment would like to remind property owners that open debris burning is prohibited at this time and no burn permits are being issued due to high danger fire conditions throughout the Upper Peninsula.

With a lack of snow on the ground in the Upper Peninsula, exposed dry, dead grasses and vegetation is easily ignited. More than half of wildfire occurrences this year, numbering over 50 so far in March, have been caused by property owners burning debris.

Officials suggest property owners try safer alternatives, such as composting yard waste or chipping brush into mulch, rather than burning it.   Citizens can check burning conditions in their area by going to www.michigan.gov/burnpermit. The interactive map on the site will list burning conditions by county down to the township level.

Citizens that are planning on burning yard waste in the Upper Peninsula are required to obtain a DNRE burn permit first.  The permits are free and available online at www.michigan.gov/burnpermit.  This year, the burn permit Web site has been streamlined and improved. It shows a map of Michigan, and by clicking on the county in which a person needs a burn permit, homeowners will be informed of local burning ordinances and restrictions.

On the DNRE burn permit Web site, residents are not required to give personal information about their location or what they are burning. They simply need to check the site for what burning conditions are in their area.

Persons without Internet access can call 866-922-2876 toll-free.

For more information on woodland fire prevention, check the DNRE’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr-fire.