Rain eases brush fire danger

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) — Last Sunday’s fire on Mt. Tom started a week filled with brush fire after brush fire in western Massachusetts.

It seemed like every day the dry and windy conditions were making brush fire conditions even worse, threatening neighborhoods up and down the Pioneer Valley.

After so many brush fires this past week what we needed was a good soaking rain and we got it. Over an inch of rain fell on Saturday, but how quickly that dries out depends on a number of factors.

“It does dry out significantly, especially with the wind,” said Agawam Fire Lt. Ken Sagendorph.¬†“The higher the wind we get, especially if it’s warmer weather with a warmer wind we will dry out a little bit faster. Lately we’ve been lucky it has been cool days.”

While the rain helped, the timing wasn’t great, coming on the weekend.

However people 22News spoke with were grateful that the wet weather brought some benefits.

“That way there’s no brush fires. That way when people are smoking and they put their cigarettes down they go out quickly. So that was definitely a good thing that it was raining,” said Dana Canary of Springfield.

Wetter conditions have allowed fire departments like Agawam to issue burning permits again;¬†something that they can’t do when conditions are really dry and windy.

Open burning is allowed in certain western Massachusetts communities provided you get a permit, however open burning season ends this coming Thursday, May 1st.

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