Massachusetts officials give fire safety warning

Accidental fires are sometimes too powerful to fight, which is why they need to be prevented at all costs. Fires often leave people with life-altering or fatal burns. Burn victims are also highly susceptible to infection and often endure severe pain.

This week, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation issued a warning to residents to be careful of starting accidental fires during this unusually warm season. Officials said that there have been many reports of fires this winter, likely because the state has not experienced nearly as much snow as usual.

Reportedly, there has been less than an inch of rain in Massachusetts over the last month and very little snow, so the grass and leaves have grown increasingly dry, making them particularly vulnerable to forest fires.

“We’re asking the public to use caution with open burning during these unusually dry conditions,” said the DCR commissioner in a statement. “The impacts of large human-caused forest fires can last for decades and can permanently change the way these lands are managed for public use.”

Additionally, forest fires can cause death, serious injuries and damage to property. If someone’s negligence is to blame for causing an accidental fire, he or she could potentially be sued in a personal injury lawsuit for the damages that were caused by the fire.

The problem, officials said, is that the unusual weather has created a lot of brush for property owners to dispose of, but many people don’t realize the danger in burning outdoors in these dry conditions.

Those who plan on burning must first get a burn permit from a local fire department. Also, officials warn never to leave the fire unattended and always make sure that the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.

Source: Wicked Local Cambridge, “DCR encourages fire safety,” Feb. 27, 2012