The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the unofficial start of summer fun in Michigan, complete with campfires, cookouts, fireworks and other outdoor activities.

But spring and summer also are key times for wildfires in Michigan, and most of these are started accidentally by people. So far in 2019, the DNR has fought more than 140 wildfires on nearly 800 acres around the state.

“Just a little bit of precaution and planning can reduce the risk of fires and keep outdoor activities fun and safe,” “Michigan’s late spring this year means that some trees and plants are still in a dry winter state, and more likely to burn when hit by a stray spark or ember.” said Paul Rogers - DNR fire prevention specialist

The DNR’s new fire safety page, available in the Safety Information section of the DNR’s webpage, offers tips on:

Campfire safety - Always douse your fire thoroughly with water before leaving it.

Debris burning - You need to get a permit to burn debris. A form is available HERE or by phone at 866-922-2876 if you live in the northern Lower Peninsula or the Upper Peninsula. People in other locations should check with local municipalities. Keep your fire at least 10 feet away from logs, stumps or other debris and make sure no branches are hanging overhead.

Firewise landscaping - This type of landscaping protects your home or cabin by minimizing the number of shrubs, leaves and trees that are close to the house. You can learn more about Firewise landscaping from the National Fire Protection Association.