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Some areas still at risk for wildfires

BURLINGTON Above normal temperature, low relative humidity and lack of rain are putting state and federal wildfire officials on alert. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for most of Vermont last week. High winds can create dangerous conditions for firefighters responding to wildfires, said Bob Schiesser of the National Weather Service in Burlington. The combination of significantly dry fuels, low humidity and high winds is known as a red flag event. The warning was issued for all of Vermont, except Bennington and Windham counties. Throughout the state, windy conditions increased the risk that fires would be hotter and spread faster. In the last week, local fire departments around the state have responded to many forest and grass fires. Any wildland fire threatens public safety and firefighter safety as well. Weve already had one fire in the Green Mountain National Forest this year and we just want to ensure everyone is aware that even though it is spring, and seemingly wet, a forest fire could get up and moving, said Green Mountain National Forest Supervisor Meg Mitchell. Open burning is regulated by local Town Forest Fire Wardens who issue burning permits when fuel and weather conditions are safe. When fire danger becomes high, or when red flag conditions are in place, there is a greater risk that a burn will escape. Vermonters are required to obtain a permit before burning yard debris. Many Fire Wardens across the state have stopped issuing burning permits until conditions improve, said Tess Greaves, Fire Danger Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation For more information contact the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation at 802-241-3678.

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