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Drought Conditions Bring Heightened Risk of Wildfire

Marylanders Urged to Take Extra Precautions

Photo of forest fire in MarylandThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources warns residents and visitors that potential for wildfires has steadily increased in the past several weeks due to a lack of rain and unseasonably high temperatures. 

While open-air burning is legal in parts of Maryland, the department strongly encourages homeowners to refrain from outdoor burning until the state receives significant steady rainfall of one inch or more. Open-air burning is the leading cause of wildfires in Maryland. 

“All of the indicators that fire management officials use to monitor fire danger are reaching record levels for this time of year,” Maryland Forest Service Acting State Fire Supervisor Chris Robertson said. “Fires that occur under these conditions will be difficult to control.”

During dry conditions, embers can easily ignite dry leaves or other forest fuels and start a wildfire. Caution should be taken with all other outdoor activities that may spark a wildfire such as campfires, smoking, and equipment usage. Further restrictions may need to be implemented if the dry weather pattern continues. 

If you would like more information, please contact Chris Robertson, Acting State Fire Supervisor at 410-260-8503.