Monday, March 12, 2012 - 3:26am
The beautiful weather over the weekend brought lots of people outdoors, and where people go, the risk of fire increases.
City of Madison firefighters responded to half a dozen fires over the weekend, including 2 open burning fires, two dumpster fires, and two grass fires.
The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:
•Dried out vegetation is easily ignited by discarded matches, cigarettes, or wayward sparks. To better protect your home, clear out dead growth at the base of the foundation.
•Always make sure cigarettes and matches are completely extinguished before discarding them; dousing them in water is best
•Once started, grass fires can move swiftly. A fire on Madison's west side last March burned several acres before fire crews could bring it under control.
•The Madison General Ordinance (34.13 and 34.14) and the State Fire Code prohibit outdoor and open burning without a permit. Fire Codes do permit fires for cooking and approved outdoor fireplaces. The Fire Department does not permit the burning of yard waste, construction debris, brush, etc. if the Fire Department receives a complaint, they will respond and can, at the discretion of the Fire Officer, extinguish the fire for any violation of the following conditions, or, if the fire is creating a hazard or nuisance.
•Information on Outdoor and Open Burning can be found on the City of Madison Fire Department web site at http://www.cityofmadison.com/fire/prevention/safety/home/grills.cfm.
•While fire pits are legal in the City, they must have a spark arrester in use at all times. Only dry wood should be burned, and they must be attended with a water source nearby.
•Whether ashes from a fire pit or charcoal grill, it is important to make certain that the ashes are completely cool before discarding them.
- Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947