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March is start of dry season

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - March officially marks the start of dry season and with the dry conditions continuing until July the chances of grass fires increases.

In the last week alone there have been over three dozen reported grass fires. And with the dry season upon us the community is reminded that unpermitted burning of any kind is a violation of the law. Guam Fire Department spokesperson Lieutenant Ed Artero told KUAM News, "There is violations they can be fined if there is any burning of garbage or waste EPA could also be involved in that particular process."

This is because burning of vegetation, trash and debris can quickly get out of hand especially during the dry season. It only takes one ember to ignite a grass fire, with Artero adding, "Most fires are either started by somebody that is doing nearby debris clearing or field clearing for that matter so just as a reminder for any open burning in residential not authorized open burning is only allowed in agriculture lots, so anybody that is doing any debris or field clearing they need to make sure that it is contained properly so that none of the embers fly away and cause an unwanted fire."

While open burning is not allowed at any time without a permit, Artero says if you do have a permit to  burn to make sure there is a sufficient water source nearby so that the fire can be put out. "Actually open burning is any time of the year so people just need to keep in mind that burning of vegetation you need a permit in order to conduct that operation," he shared. "Burning in any open residential area is not authorized without a burning permit you need to get that from the Guam Fire Department."

Because the chances of grass fires are increased residents can do a few things to ensure their homes are safe. "If they see any vegetation nearby their house that could be an obstruction or they look like its turning brown they can clear it back a good distance from their residence just to be safe in case any wild land fire approaches they will be in a safe area," he said.
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