Very high forest fire danger level across Connecticut

New Haven

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The forest fire danger level across Connecticut for Saturday is very high. The state helped local crews put out brush fires in Meriden, Glastonbury, Lyme and Lisbon on Saturday evening. Forest fire danger is typically high from mid-March through May.

In Meriden, smoke could be seen miles away from the brush fire, which was deep in the woods. Neighbors say it spread very quickly.

“It was a little fire, not big, maybe 50 by 50 and then it just took off,” said Joseph Carabetta, who saw the fire in his backyard.

This fire ended up spreading across about two acres. Officials don’t yet know what caused it, but it was tough for them to get to.

“It’s fairly remote but they were able to get vehicle access to it, which it really helps if you can get water on the fire quickly,” said Statewide Fire Control Officer Richard Schenk.

“I lived through a house fire before, so nobody was in danger – it was out in the woods,” said Carabetta.

There is an especially high risk for forest fires at this time of year in part because of all the dead leaves, pine needles and sticks on the ground that can help fuel the fire.

“ATVs – people don’t think about that, but running around with an ATV in the woods can cause exhaust sparks which will start fires,” Schenk.

It sometimes doesn’t take much, since anything that could create heat could start a fire when it is this dry. Officials are expecting to see more fires as the dry weather continues.

“The drought is going to be more of a problem as we get into the summer,” said Schenk.

If you have a permit to burn brush on your property, it is not valid when the risk is this high and you are burning within 100 feet of a grassland or a woodland. The state is asking everyone spending time outside to be careful.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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