DEEP warns of increased forest fire danger in CT

With below-average rainfall, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is warning of an increased forest fire danger in Connecticut.

“The current fire danger is high and may rise as the week progresses,” DEEP said.

Just under half the state — 49 percent — is experiencing abnormally dry conditions as of mid last week, according federal drought experts, and that number increased from 26 percent of the state facing abnormally dry conditions the previous week.

According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, some parts of Connecticut have received less than a half-inch of rain this month. May’s average rainfall in the state is 3.52 inches. Parts of the state are more than 7 inches below the normal year-to-date rainfall.

“With the current dry conditions and little to no rain in the forecast, sticks and leaves are ready to catch fire easily with a careless spark,” DEEP said.

“These sparks can come from unexpected sources, such as fireworks, and performing lawn maintenance with chainsaws and lawn mowers.”

DEEP Forestry is strongly encouraging practicing fire safety and using caution during outdoor activities during these conditions. For forest fire preverntion tips, click here.

“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.”