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Lack of rain contributing to higher fire danger | News

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Lack of rain contributing to higher fire danger
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Take the warm temperatures, low humidity, breezes, a lack of rain -- and the stage is set for grass fires.

Small grass and brush fires are common along West Michigan roads and highways, where discarded cigarette butts often ignite the dry vegetation. But they are just as common within the city limits, and often pose a far greater danger because of the higher density of people and buildings.

"We still have areas of the city that do have quite a bit of open land, the northeast side, and areas on the far northwest side," said Grand Rapids Fire Prevention Inspector Joe Durham. "A brush fire, wildland fire could easily turn into a multiple structure fire."

The Alpine Township Fire Department has even gone forward to place a ban on issuing burning permits until a substantial amount of rain has fallen in West Michigan.

"The fact that we've had no rain lately will greatly impact the fire calls we have in Kent County, and we'll be busy in the next three days," said Apline Township Fire Chief Ron Christians.

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