MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (7/9/2018) - The dry, crunchy grass can light up in seconds, creating a big danger if it's near a home or business. That's why Clio Area Fire Department Chief Kerry Paulson issued the burn ban Monday.
He said they had a small grass fire off I-75 this weekend and didn't want to take any more chances.
"No open burning, no fireworks right now. I wouldn't do any at all. I wouldn't even have a campfire, you know, even the logs or anything like that. Even if its in a contained area, I wouldn't take a chance because the sparks and stuff, it wouldn't take much to get something going," he explained.
So that means Clio, Vienna Township and Thetford Township are under the strict ban.
So far, Saginaw Township, Thomas Township, Grand Blanc Township and Tuscola County have also put a burn ban in place.
Chief Paulson said the only fire that's allowed right now is a fire in your grill.
With it being several days after the 4th of July holiday, setting off fireworks is illegal anyways.
Chief Paulson said violating the ban could result in a $500. That dollar amount goes up to at least $750, if more than one fire station is called to the scene; and, it rises even higher up if it takes the crews several hours to put the fire out.
He's asking smokers to really pay attention these next few days, too.
"Be careful people with the cigarettes also flicking 'em out right now. We'll get a lot of those in this kind of weather," the Chief explained. "Use the ashtray if you've got it, or you know, put it out correctly with some water or something, just be safe with it."
Chief Paulson said grass fires get out of control quickly, covering up to 3 or 4 acres.
It's difficult work for the fire crews, too, Chief Paulson explained the fire moves faster than they can run, so they have to use their 4-wheelers to tackle the flames.
"I mean the guys are soaking wet when they come back. I mean the gear inside and out it's just wet, you know; and, it just gets devastating hot for 'em and stuff so what we try to do is let 'em take their coats off, you know, if it's not too bad of conditions," he said.