DEEP Alerts Residents and Visitors of Elevated Wildfire Risk this Weekend
Portions of South Central and Eastern Connecticut at Extreme Fire Danger Today
(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today reminds residents and visitors that forest fire danger levels are elevated from “High” to “Extreme” throughout Connecticut and are expected to remain elevated throughout the upcoming weekend due to ongoing drought conditions. The danger will remain “High” or above until there is significant rain.
DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said, “As always, Connecticut residents and visitors alike need to take precautions to prevent forest fires. This is especially true right now as we are expecting very dry conditions with reduced relative humidity to continue throughout the state over the next few days. If you are enjoying the outdoors at a state park or forest, always limit your campfires to the stone or metal rings provided and be sure your fire is doused thoroughly when done."
DEEP’s Division of Forestry constantly monitors the danger of forest fire to help protect Connecticut’s 1.8 million acres of forested land. Forest fire danger levels are classified as low, moderate, high, very high or extreme. The Forest Fire Danger is posted on the DEEP website atDEEP: Forest Fire Danger Report.
DEEP reminds all state residents that if they have received a permit from their local Open Burning Official to burn brush on their property, the permit is not valid if the Forest Fire Danger is rated high, very high, or extreme, and you are burning within 100 feet of a grassland or woodland.
During 2022, 300 acres have burned in Connecticut so far. The average number of acres burned per year in Connecticut is about 500.
Anyone spotting a forest fire should go to the nearest telephone and dial 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible to the local fire department.
DEEP encourages Connecticut residents to protect their families and homes from forest fire by:
- Making a fire safe zone around your house. Clean flammable vegetation and debris from at least 30 feet around the house and any outbuildings;
- Pruning away the lower limbs of evergreens that are within the fire safe zone. Evergreens catch fire easily during dry periods and burn quickly;
- Removing any limbs which overhang the roof or chimney;
- Regularly removing leaves and needles from gutters;
- Not storing firewood in the fire safe zone;
- Using fire resistant roofing materials;
- Making 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;
- Following state and local open burning laws;
- Staying with outside fires until they are completely safe and dead out; and
- Disposing of wood ashes in a metal bucket, soaking them with water before dumping them.
For those enjoying Connecticut’s parks, forests, and open spaces, use fires with caution and follow these recommendations:
- Obey local laws regarding open fires, including campfires;
- Keep all flammable objects away from fire;
- Have firefighting tools nearby and handy;
- Carefully dispose of hot charcoal;
- Drown all fires;
- Extinguish smoking materials with caution.