Forest Fire Prevention Tips
The majority of wildfires in Connecticut are human-caused by improper burning of debris, arson, campfires, discarded wood ashes, and equipment.
The DEEP's Forest Fire Control Office urges all who enjoy the use of Connecticut's parks, forests and open spaces, to use fires with caution and heed the following recommendations especially during forest fire season:
- Obey local laws regarding open fires, including campfires.
- Keep all flammable objects away from fire. Scrape away leaves, twigs, and grass within a 10-foot diameter circle from fire.
- Have firefighting tools nearby and handy.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Carefully dispose of hot charcoal.
- Drown all fires.
- Carefully extinguish smoking materials.
For Connecticut homeowners, the following steps are suggested to protect your family members and home:
- Make a fire safe zone around your house. Clean flammable vegetation and debris from at least 30 feet around the house and any outbuildings.
- Prune away the lower limbs of evergreens that are within the fire safe zone. Evergreens catch fire easily during dry periods and burn quickly.
- Remove any limbs which overhang the roof or chimney.
- Regularly remove leaves and needles from gutters.
- Do not store firewood in the fire safe zone.
- Use fire resistant roofing materials.
- Make sure firefighters can find and access your home. Mark your house and roads clearly, and prune away limbs and trees along your driveway which do not allow fire truck access.
- Have an escape plan-- and practice it.
- Follow state and local open burning laws.
- Stay with outside fires until they are completely safe and dead out.
- Dispose of wood ashes in a metal bucket, soaking them with water before dumping them.
If you spot a forest fire, remain calm, go to the nearest telephone and dial 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible to your local fire department. Calmly tell the emergency dispatcher when you saw it and where you saw it. If you see anything suspicious at or near the scene of the fire, take note and relay that to 911 as well. Stay on the telephone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.
For more information on forest fire prevention, visit the Smokey Bear website.
Content last updated in August 2022.