How to prevent your barbecue from turning into a brush fire - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

How to prevent your barbecue from turning into a brush fire

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It's a busy weekend here in western Massachusetts filled with various events from college graduations to celebrating Mother's Day. 

With plenty to do and celebrate, a lot of folks will be out barbecuing and having some fun outside. 

Officials are talking fire safety today to make sure things don’t get out of hand.

For instance, an abandoned camp fire sparked a brush fire in Amherst Friday afternoon that grew bigger than the length of a football field.

While more people taking advantage of the nice weather by barbequing and fire pits, you’re going to want to take extra precautions so another incident like this doesn’t happen.

At around 1:20 p.m. on Friday, Amherst firefighters were called to a brush fire in the woods near 252 Strong Street.

[READ MORE: Abandoned camp fire caused large brush fire in Amherst]
"Twelve members were on scene with brush trucks. Hadley Fire Department and Department of Conservation Recreation had two trucks to help us, said Amherst Assistant Fire Chief, Lindsay Stromgren. 

Stromgren said it took crews five hours to contain the two acre fire, and added they believe it was started by an abandoned camp fire. 
"Open burning season that's regulated by the state just ended May 1 so you're not allowed burn brush or have any outdoor fires other than small contained cooking fires," Stromgren noted.
Stromgren wants to remind folks although we are expecting some rain, conditions are still dry.
"One day of rain does not make brush fire danger go away. It takes a lot of rain to go away. If you and your friends are celebrating this weekend by the grill or fire pit, make sure you practice safety first," Stromgren continued. 

"When we say that it should be some approved outdoor grill. We mean a concrete fire place away from a house and away from any flammables, dry grass. Have water source and extinguisher nearby," he explained. 
If conditions do get breezy, you may want to reconsider.
"If its a blustery day like today, don't use it in the first place because a few embers in the wind can go into leaves and woods and start a brush fire," Stromgren added.
For those who love love to pair a barbecue with a few drinks, remember if you had too much to drink, do not drink and drive.

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