Don't Get Burned

Fire Safety ThumbnailLyndonville- Next week is Fire Safety week in Lyndonville. And with the fire danger today being high, the Lyndonville Fire Department issued a burn ban for the surrounding areas. This isn't something that happens here a lot in the Northeast Kingdom, but there are certain times that fire departments watch out for such issues.

 "We just kind of get it down to a couple weeks in April, and depending on how our fall pans out, sometime in October or September, is our other week of fire danger," said Lyndonville firefighter Lt. Patrick McLaughlin. "Most of the time it's low or moderate. Very rarely do we get to see it get into a high fire, very high, or extreme."

While the warm front that has swept across the region the past couple of weeks isn't necessarily the cause of the high fire danger, it certainly isn't helping resolve the issue.

"The warm temperatures just compound the situation, we get a high heat index and the intensity of the fires, if they were to get started, are a lot more rigorous to fight."

New Hampshire is in the midst of fighting a forest fire in Woodstock right now, which according to Lt. McLaughlin, is "ripping up through the woods." McLaughlin feels it is a teaching lesson for the rest of northern New England, that wildfires aren't exclusive to the western United States.

"We're just able to have it in a little less of an extreme, like out West, where you've seen several large fires. We don't get those as often. Not to say we can't get them, not to say that the fire danger can't get to that level, but we normally see it in just two week spurts. And during those two weeks, we can see some pretty intense fire behavior, so we want to make sure that during those weeks, we take our precautions and we inform the public of the fire danger and the risk."

While Lt. McLaughlin could not say specifically when the burn ban would end, he did say that in order for it to end, there needs to be precipitation, the relative humidity would need to rise, and the fuel levels would have to return to normal.

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