Brush fire season has begun in Franklin County - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Brush fire season has begun in Franklin County

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GILL, MA (WSHM) - Weather conditions have been in favor for those starting spring cleaning in their yards and ultimately burning brush.

“A lot of leaves are dried out in the woods or the underbrush,” Capt. John Whitney of Greenfield Fire Department's Fire Prevention said.

Multiple small fires spread from over the weekend and turned into fully exposed brush fires.

Greenfield firefighters have assisted in nearly a half a dozen brush fires since Saturday, including pop-up brush fires near the train tracks last night caused by sparks ignited from a passing train.

A fire in Gill started from small fire around a drain that with ultimately blew out of a control from wind gusts. While fire crews tended to the blaze, nearly 3 acres burned.

“There's permitted burns through the county and the wind takes them, they get out of control, no fault necessarily of the owner,” Whitney said. “Wind picks up and embers are sent into a dry section; it spreads quickly with the wind.”

Tips for opening burning:
  • Always attend the open burn
  • Have ample water supply
  • Abide by open burning hours: 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Prohibited burning items:
  • Leaves
  • Grass
  • Hay
  • Stumps
  • Tires
Communities that prohibit open burning:
  • Chicopee
  • Holyoke
  • Springfield
  • West Springfield
According to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the legal burning period ends May 1st.

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