Fall Brings Heightened Risk of Wildfire

Marylanders Urged to Take Extra Precautions

Photo of brushfire

Fire Prevention Week begins Oct. 7, coinciding with the beginning of the fall wildfire season in Maryland.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources urges residents throughout the state to take precautions as the changing foliage increases the risks of wildland fires spreading through brush and forests. 

Wildfires occur every month in Maryland, but peak in the spring and fall. During these two seasons the leaves fall off deciduous trees, allowing sunlight and wind to reach the forest floor drying out brush, leaves and vegetation and other debris that can catch aflame. The relative humidity of the air is also drier and, combined with a breeze, creates favorable conditions for wildfires to spread rapidly.

“Despite the record amount of rainfall we received this year, fall’s combination of drying forest fuels and winds add up to increased fire danger,” Maryland Forest Service State Fire Supervisor Monte Mitchell said. “Extra caution needs to be taken with outdoor burning and use of machinery that is gas-powered or could spark wildfires. It doesn’t take much for dry leaves to ignite and become a serious problem.”

Each year, the Maryland Forest Service responds to an average of 210 wildfires that burn about 2,325 acres. The only natural cause of wildfires is lightning, which accounts for only 4 percent of the wildfire ignitions in the state. The remaining 96 percent are caused by humans. 

Homeowners can learn more about how to prevent wildfires at the department’s Firewise Maryland page. 

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at davidhiggins@southernmarylandchronicle.com

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.