Hot, dry conditions bring fire warning
Michigan’s recent hot, dry weather has sucked most of the moisture from this season's grass and dried last year’s growth, a combination which increases the risk of fire, according to officials with the state Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR issued a warning about fire danger on Wednesday across the state, asking residents and visitors to take extra precautions to prevent accidentally starting fires, such as waiting to burn debris and not using all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers or other outdoor machinery.
“The layer of decomposing leaves and grasses in the ground has dried out,” said Paul Rogers, a fire prevention specialist with the DNR. "That means fires that do ignite will burn down into the soil's layer, making it harder, and more time-consuming, to put the fire out.”
According to the DNR map that provides a daily fire danger rating, the lower peninsula from Grand Rapids to the Thumb and down to the state line has a "very high" rating compared to the rest of the state.
Several areas in the eastern Upper Peninsula have experienced fires this week, including a 32-acre fire in the Hessel area, DNR officials said.
There is currently no burn ban in effect and campfires are still allowed, DNR officials said.
On Friday, the National Weather Service in White Lake Township said temperatures will continue to warm up this weekend in Metro Detroit, heading back into the lower 90s with some increased humidity.
Friday's high is expected to be around 91. Saturday's forecast is partly sunny, with a high near 90. There is a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Sunday is expected to be partly sunny, with a high near 88.
On Monday, a wet front will come through bringing a chance for storms and showers and bring temperatures into the 80s for the week.
Tuesday should be mostly sunny, with a high near 84 and Wednesday is expected to be sunny, with a high near 80.
Greg Mann, a NWS meteorologist, said temperatures for July are already four degrees above average for the month and rainfall has been low, especially in Detroit and Metro Detroit.
"For precipitation it depends on where you live. For Detroit, there has not been much this month. Just a trace. We are an inch and a quarter behind the average," Mann said.
The area is not in drought conditions yet, Mann said.