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Dry, Windy Conditions Increase Brush Fire Threat

BRUSH FIRESHOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Firefighters say dry and windy weather is making fighting the fires more complicated.

On Friday alone, there were at least five brush within hours several hours in Holyoke.

Whether they’re in the woods or in your yard brush fires can be a threat to your home this time of year.

“Especially when they’re all happening at the same time. You’re tying all your apparatuses up, if there’s a house fire, or a building fire, or anything else, you’re short on resources,” said Lt. Tom Paquin of the Holyoke Fire Department.

Leaves are everywhere, but firefighters say, the real problem is how dry they’ve gotten.

It’s that dryness, combined with the careless disposal of cigarettes and matches, being blamed for many of the recent brush fires.

And weather is responsible for another fire hazard; cool temperatures mean ashes from wood or pellet stoves.

Those should be disposed of in metal containers with lids.

“People also have to look at their gutters. I mean, leaves are falling into their gutters and drying out. If there is any brush fire in your yard, or around your house, any embers that are going to catch are going to catch in your gutters, that’s when your houses are susceptible to fire as well,” Lt. Paquin adds.

When we finally do get some precipitation, how much will be enough?

“Sunday and Monday we are looking forward to a little rain, but it’s probably not going to be enough. At this point in time, we need a couple of inches of rain to really saturate the ground. But we look forward to any rain, to bring some relief to the brush fires,” according Lt. Paquin.

He says the first real snow of the season will eliminate the threat of brush fires until spring.

The Holyoke Fire Department reminds you it is illegal to burn your leaves in any community this time of year.

They suggest taking them to your local dump.

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