There’s An Increased Danger Or Threat Of Fire For Parts Of Michigan
The lack of rain leads to very dry conditions for parts of Michigan which increases the danger or threat of a fire starting and spreading fast.
Lack of Rain
If you haven't had to mow your lawn as much, there's a reason, we just haven't had a significant amount of rain for most of late June and early July, and it's about to get even dryer out
I have lived in the same place for the past three summers and last year we got so much rain where I live by the Hardy Pond in Newaygo County, I had to mow my lawn every week from late April through the first couple weeks of October. The first mow season was every two weeks from the end of July through the first couple of weeks of September.
For the past month, I have been mowing every other week which is way earlier than my first two summers at my home. At this point, I'm not really mowing the grass but the few weeds that pop up. If this keeps up I may only have to mow every three weeks. It's saving some money on gas but as this dry spell continues so does the risk of fire.
How Much Has it Rained in West Michigan?
According to WOOD-TV Grand Rapids has only gotten just over an inch and half of the rain for the month of June when it normally gets close to four inches. If you move north to Alma, they have only gotten just under eight inches of rain from April through early July when they normally get close to a foot of rain by now.
Parts of Michigan at Risk of Fire
As you can see by the yellow and brown colors on this map of Michigan that are lots of areas just north of Grand Rapids that are at risk. With this kind of abnormally dry conditions, it is easy for a simple grass fire to start. If someone throws a cigarette out of the window, or ash from a burn pit, or fire pit, it won't take long for a fire to start.
I can tell you from recent experience it doesn't take much for a fire to spread. During the July 4th weekend I was burning some tree scraps from a new burner pit I had in an unused coral behind my house. I had just gotten the fire started and no time flat it spread so fast I nearly had to contact the fire department. Luckily for me, 70% of the area was surrounded by a corn field so when the fire met the dirt leading to the corn it burned out but the 30% left I had to contain.
I had a feeling the field might catch on fire and was prepared before I lit the fire. I had a hose, buckets, shovel, and rake ready in case there was an issue and it paid off. I was surprised by how quickly the fire spread.
Weather for the Next Two Weeks
There is rain in the forecast for Monday, July 11 and hopefully, it is significant because the rest of the week it will be in the lower to mid-80s but by next Monday we will be knocking on the 90s door.
For the next couple weeks it will get up in the upper 80s and into the 90s so the map shown above may reach further south and not to mention the counties that are in yellow now could change to even dryer conditions.
If you plan on having a fire pit out back or if you plan on doing some camping in the immediate future, use extreme caution in having any kind of fire until we get some significant rainfall.
I recently picked up a portable fire pit that has a screen on top to keep the ashes from flying in the air and lucky for me I have some old concrete to place it on. We have hotter than average temperatures in our immediate future which will continue more dryness so even this little fire pit may have to go on pause until mother nature gives us the rain our yards, gardens, farm fields, and orchards need so desperately.
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