Dry grass & high winds causing grass fires

Now that the snow has melted across mid-Michigan and grass is drying up, grass fires are becoming a problem.

Fire officials are urging people to take extra precautions when it comes to controlled burns.

High winds and dry grass can make controlled burns dangerous. In mid-michigan, grass fires have come close to structures several times this week.

â??Fire travels very quickly across those dry fuels and it can get to a structure and set the structure on fire relatively easy,â?? says Patrick Nelson, chief of the Bridgeport Fire Department.

In western Michigan, a man caught fire when he tried to put out a grass fire.

â??He tried to stomp the fire out and basically caught his clothes on fire and essentially he succumbed to his injuries,â?? says Rick Humphreys, president of the Saginaw County Fire Chiefs Association.

Firefighters say don't burn unless you have to.

"If you are compelled to burn, we ask that you do it in small piles and that you keep an extinguishing agent close by,â?? says Nelson.

When dealing with a controlled burn, there are two things you should have on hand, a rake and a garden hose.

â??Don't leave a fire unattended, even for a few minutes. The wind can pick up, the wind can shift and the next thing you know it's blowing the wrong way or some embers of some sparks,â?? says Nelson.

If the fire does get out of hand, don't try to put it out.

â??If it does begin to get away from you, it's likely going to. Call 911, don't wait,â?? adds Nelson.