Brush fires starting due to improper disposal of flammables; cig - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Brush fires starting due to improper disposal of flammables; cigarettes

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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Brush fires have sparked in a majority of towns and cities in Western Massachusetts partially due to weather conditions and changing of the seasons.

However, a portion of these fires have been sparked by negligence. 

Improper disposal of various flammable items such as cigarettes have sparked brush fires, specifically in higher population areas such as Chicopee.

"Always be aware of where you're going to throw your cigarette butts," Chicopee Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Cross said. "We go to numerous fires in mulch areas around shopping centers and around residences, where a cigarette can cause a fire in mulch and spread to a building with disastrous results."

Currently, open burning is not permitted in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

An exception is a small cooking fire.

"The only outside burning that is allowed is an outdoor cooking fire," Cross said. "What we ask residents to do is keep the fire at least 25 feet away from any combustible structure, we ask that you have a garden hose present or a fire extinguisher, be sure to keep all children and pets away and if it's a windy day, just be very cognizant of what you're doing."

If in a circumstance where a small fire is believed to be out of control, "always call your local fire department," Cross said.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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