Fire danger moderate in southern Vermont

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(Host) Southern Vermont has a “moderate” fire danger rating according to the state’s Department of Forests and Parks. The state has a five-tier warning system from “low” to “extreme” that gauges how likely it is for a wildfire to ignite.

The southern four counties in Vermont have received less precipitation this summer than the northern and central areas of the state. State officials say leaves and dead softwood that fuel wild fires are drying out, increasing the possibility of fires. Tess Greaves coordinates fire weather information for the Department of Forests and Parks:

(Greaves) “If we don’t get rain, we can have a fire season. If we get rain sporadically, that will keep fire danger down. But if we go days, a week or two without rain, and after frost and the leaves come off the trees, we can go into high fire danger.

(Host) Precipitation on Thursday covered the entire state and helped to dampen the forests and undergrowth. But Greaves says that, like in neighboring states, the real fire danger in Vermont isn’t nature.

(Greaves) “The cause of fire in Vermont is from people. And right now campfires are causing problems. It’s part of the Adirondacks problems, it’s part of the New Hampshire problems. And I’ve talked to our fire guys at the Green Mountain National Forest in the last week or so and they said there’s a lot more people in the woods that are building campfires and not extinguishing them properly. They’re small but they can smolder for days and they can burn underground. You know, they’re just waiting for the right condition to flare up and start some major event.”

(Host) Greaves says it’s very important that campers and others make sure their fires are completely extinguished before leaving the woods.

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