Fire danger on the rise as temperatures heat up

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WEST MICHIGAN -- Despite a wet early spring, recent dry weather is contributing to elevated fire danger across all of West Michigan, and across much of the state.

In Grand Rapids, only 1.73" of rain has been recorded since May 1st. The average rainfall total between May 1st and now is around 5". Grand Rapids and vicinity are under high fire danger, according to the Michigan D.N.R.

Areas around Muskegon, Kalamazoo, and the Indiana state line are classified in "very high" fire danger.

"It's based on how dry we are," said Don Klingler, a DNR Resource Protection Manager for the lower peninsula. "And if the leaves and stuff are not soaking up water or moisture, then the sun is baking them and drying them out, which is going to make it more ready to burn, especially in pine or conifer areas where some of the needles are still candling out."

The hot, breezy weather this weekend could elevate the wildfire danger even further, even though humidity levels will remain fairly elevated.

The D.N.R. urges extreme caution while using fireworks this summer, and advises people to make sure any campfires or bonfires are completely extinguished. They also say to double check that open burns are allowed in your area before starting one.

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