Thursday, April 24, 2008
Recent warm temperatures and lack of rain have prompted the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to elevate the Forest Fire danger rating from High to Very High and the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag Warning for Hartford County. These warnings are expected to remain at current levels at least through the weekend. Brush and wooded areas are extremely vulnerable to fire ignition this time of year but even more so due to recent weather experience. Open outdoor burning is not authorized in Manchester and contained burning (outdoor cooking and fireplaces) must be at least 100 feet removed from grassy or wooded areas and need to be constantly monitored when lit and completely extinguished when through. Smokers should use ashtrays and not discard smoking materials outdoors. Dirt bikes and all- terrain vehicles should be in good running condition with mufflers to minimize sparks.
Manchester has experienced several incidents of fire in woods during the past week. Controlling woods fires is extremely labor intensive and lack of an immediately available water supply make extinguishment efforts difficult. Two Manchester fires were especially troublesome for firefighters; one fire burned 2 ½ acres and the other 3 acres.