With yet another Red Flag warning issued by the National Weather Service Tuesday, town fire officials remind residents that anyone who plans to burn brush, or anything else, needs to check first with the town Fire Marshal for a permit, and the town's police department to check to see if it is an allowed burn day.
The Fire Marshal's office can be reached at 203-245-5617. The police department can be reached at 203-245-2721.
"This is not a burn day," said Madison Hose Co. No. 1 Fire Chief David Thomas Tuesday. "If someone is planning to burn something, they need to call the Fire Marshal's office to get a permit, and then call the police department to see if it is an allowed burn day."
Conditions now are very dry
Thomas predicted Madison would not get a burn day until we get some more rain. He said conditions right now are very dry. "If someone does something like toss a cigarette, it could spread very quickly," he said. Already this season, , including and another at that was extinguished by the time they got there.
Low relative humidity levels, gusty winds and dry fine fuels prompted the National Weather Service to issue another Red Flag warning Tuesday, warning about critical fire weather conditions in Connecticut.
"A Red Flag warning remains in effect until 8 p.m. [Tuesday] ... for the entire tri-state area," the National Weather Service said. The warning was prompted by low relative humidity levels, gusty northwest winds, and the ready availability of dry, fine fuels in the form of brush and other materials. Gusts could be up to 25 miles per hour and the relative humidity could go as low as 20 percent, the NWS said.
Brush fires around the state and on Long Island already this week
The NWS said there was the possibility of increased fire spread if ignition occurs. Brush fires have broken out in Berlin and Westport in CT and Suffolk County, NY, already this week.
Across the sound, on Long Island, Suffolk County Executive Bellone called a "very dangerous fire" that fire departments were able to get under control before it wrought havoc on local residences. Bellone said the blaze prompted the evacuation of 300 homes and one day care center before being snuffed out.
On Monday, the Berlin Police and Fire Departments received numerous calls from drivers and homeowners on Chamberlain Highway reporting smoke on Ragged Mountain around 1 p.m. Monday.
Dry conditions lead to lengthy operation in Berlin
Four departments were dispatched and found just over an acre on fire on the cliff edge of Ragged Mountain off of Wigwam Road, Kensington. On arrival smoke was seen from an area overlooking Great Oak Drive.
"The fire, approximately, 1.5 acres in size was put under control quickly however high winds and very dry conditions led to a lengthy operation to completely extinguish any remaining fire in the heavy ground cover," Deputy Fire Marshal Matt Odishoo said. "Fire personnel remained on scene until approximately 8 p.m. using hand tools, portable pumps and water shuttles from the base of the mountain using the off road vehicles."
"It's extremely early in the season to be worried about brush fires," said South Kensington Fire Chief Brian Chapman. "People who are hiking really have to be careful that they don't throw cigarettes on the ground because even something that small could set off a fire with it being as dry as it is."