Staying safe during brush fire season

Open burning is not allowed in 22 cities and towns in Massachusetts

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Brush fires are becoming more common as we transition to the dryer spring weather. 22News investigated what brush fires and “red flag warnings” are, and how they apply to your safety.

Om Saturday there were 4 brush fires across Western Massachusetts. The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning in Berkshire county until 8 p.m.

22News meteorologists Jennifer Pagliei explains what a red flag warning is. “If you already have dry conditions and breezy conditions, that allows for a red flag warning to be posted because if any fires are created, it allows them to spread rapidly.”

This brush fire in Monson on Thursday is one look of what we can expect during spring when brush fires are more common. Most brush fires start from cigarettes and embers from burning things outside. Depending on where you live, what the weather conditions are, and how much brush is around you, your local fire warden will determine whether or not you can burn certain materials outside.

22News spoke with the West Springfield fire department about “open burning” safety tips.

“It should be within a 75 foot radius structure or dwelling, and utility lines,” says Deputy Chief Michael Culver of the West Springfield fire department. “Don’t ever start an open burn with any flammable or combustible liquids.”

A permit from your local fire warden is required for open burning, and open burning can only go on between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Open burning is prohibited in 22 cities and towns across the state.

Open burning is not allowed in the following cities and towns: Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Malden, Medford, New Bedford, Newton, Somerville, Springfield, Waltham, Watertown, West Springfield, and Worcester.

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