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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Governor bans outdoor burning

A ban on outdoor burning goes into effect at 4:36 p.m. Friday in Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Montcalm and 70 other Michigan counties.
Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm banned outdoor burning due to the extremely high wildfire danger that continues to threaten most of the state. The ban covers most of the Lower Peninsula and all of the Upper Peninsula
The fire ban will remain in effect until conditions change significantly to reduce the risk of fire.
“The persistent drought conditions across Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas, coupled with the hot, dry weather, are creating dangerous conditions for wildfires to occur,” Granholm said. “We are already battling a major wildfire in Luce County, and any open flame is a hazard to our state at this time."
The ban prohibits these acts on forest lands or lands adjacent to forest lands:
• burning of any flammable material, including refuse, brush, stumps, rubbish, grass, stubble, leaves, or crop residue;
• burning materials in a burn barrel;
• pipe, cigar and/or cigarette smoking outdoors adjacent to forest lands, with the exception of places of habitation, authorized and improved campgrounds, or in any automobile or truck; and,
• all campfires except those within containers at public or private campgrounds that have permanent staff on site or at places of habitation.
• Campfires will not be allowed at any state forest campgrounds or other similar unsupervised, rustic campgrounds.

A violation of the burning ban is a misdemeanor. In addition, anyone responsible for starting a wildfire is liable for the cost of suppressing the fire.
The ban does not include charcoal grills or propane or liquid-fueled camping stoves.
“We believe this ban is necessary to protect Michigan’s natural resources and our citizens from the very serious threat of wildfire conditions in the state currently,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries. “We urge all citizens to be partners with us in this effort to prevent any new wildfires from occurring in the state. Our resources are stretched thin due to the amount of wildfire activity we are seeing in the state this summer.”
The last time an outdoor burning ban was signed was May 21, 1998, when a similar ban was issued for the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula.
The ban covers these counties: Alcona, Alger, Allegan, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Baraga, Barry, Bay, Benzie, Calhoun, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Clare, Clinton, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Eaton, Emmet, Genesee, Gladwin, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Houghton, Huron, Ingham, Ionia, Iosco, Iron, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kent, Keweenaw, Lake, Lapeer, Leelanau, Livingston, Luce, Mackinaw, Macomb, Manistee, Marquette, Mason, Mecosta, Menominee, Midland, Missaukee, Montcalm, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oakland, Oceana, Ogemaw, Ontonagon, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Ottawa, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Saginaw, St Clair, Sanilac, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Van Buren, Washtenaw, and Wexford.


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