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Southern and western Maine at high risk for wildfires

Dry grass and wind fuel flames, and most wildfires are caused by people who are trying to clean out the brush in their yards.

MAINE, USA — Southern and western Maine are at a high risk of wildfires this weekend, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. In the northern half of the state, it is a moderate risk for wildfires.

Forest Ranger Kent Nelson told NEWS CENTER Maine this is the most common time of year for a wildfire to break out.

"We've done some research, and we've had most of our spring fires in the last two weeks of April," he said.

Dry grass and wind fuel flames, he said, and most wildfires are caused by people who are trying to clean out the brush in their yards.

"We're all anxious to do that, but often times the fires don't get cared for properly," he said. "They're left unattended, they're not put out fully, and then when you get a windy afternoon or dry temperatures that are warming the fire will escape and create a brush fire."

Nelson said that even if there has been some rain, a few windy days afterward can still cause fires.

"It doesn't take long for those fine fuels the small stuff to dry out and become explosive," he said.

A permit is required if Mainers plan to burn brush within state.

Nelson added that because of the fire dangers, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry won't be handing out permits until it's safer to do so.

DACF officials said there have already been about 100 brush fires in the first four months of 2022.

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