WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dry brush, dry air, and warm sunshine might make it feel more like spring, but it could also be a recipe for disaster.
Brush fires are more frequent, and more dangerous when there’s a combination of all three factors, like we saw in western Massachusetts this weekend.
The dry air on Sunday created an elevated fire-risk, a threat many of us are familiar with.
Westfield resident Adam Bazanchuk told 22News he usually sees a brush fire spark in the same place every few years. “Tekoa Mountain usually catches fire from brush fires. It could be from the trains going by or even just somebody smoking a cigarette and kind of just flicking it off the side,” he said.
Bazanchuk is no stranger to fire. He told 22News his family keeps a fire pit in their backyard, but before they spark a flame, they make sure to hydrate the grass around it. “If it’s windy or dry like the last couple of days, we’ll keep the hose around, and wet the area,” he said.
April is usually one of the most common months for brush fires in western Massachusetts, but there are ways you can prevent them.
If you live in a yard where there are a lot of trees, make sure you’re clearing away all of the brush to prevent it from catching on fire.
One of the most common ways to get rid of brush is by burning it.
Patrick Sullivan of Westfield told 22News he burns brush, but goes about it in a safe way. “We usually do it in a covered container, we put the wired frame above it just to keep it from blowing out, we do leaves and sticks and things like that,” he said.
Even if you’re burning brush in a fire pit, you’ll still want to be careful this time of year, brush fires peak in April and May.