Elevated risk for brush fires in western Massachusetts

An open burning can get out of control quickly

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The record warm weather on Monday increased the risk for brush fires throughout western Massachusetts, with one starting in the woods in Agawam.

West Springfield Firefighters said people carelessly tossing cigarettes is one of the leading causes of brush fires, but an open burning can also get out of control quickly.

“Moderate winds and low humidity; it’s the perfect recipe for a brush type fire,” said West Springfield Fire Lt. C.J. Bartone. “You have a small little pile that you have a permit for and you’re ready to burn, and the next thing you know, the wind takes a gust of it and it’s off to the races. It can go fast.”

The month of April is the start of peak brush fire season. Firefighters said these fires can spread fast, so you should call the fire department even if a fire seems small.

Local residents are urging their neighbors to have the right tools handy and take precautions if they plan to burn debris on their property. “A hose number one, a shovel, maybe a rake, and make sure you’ve got a good enough buffer around the area,” said Joseph Robinson of Chicopee.

The 22News Storm Team issued a warning for another elevated risk for brush fires on Tuesday.

More Information:
– Local Forecast – Weather Text Alerts
– Temperatures – Weather Email Alerts
– Weather News – WWLP 22News Weather App
– Interactive Radar – Live Area Webcams