While April showers may bring May flowers, spring can also result in a more destructive blaze than the colors of early blooms. Spring, like fall, is considered “wildfire season” by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and citizens are warned to watch for a possible escaped blaze whenever outdoor burning is involved.
“We have two wildfire seasons,” said Greg Smith of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “There is one is the spring and one in the fall. Fire generally burns in the finer fuels, like grass and leaves. In the spring, it’s dangerous before the green-up occurs, before that moisture content is replenished in the finer fuels. Also, there are warmer temperatures and gustier winds, along with lower humidities. People are also out clearing out debris from the landscape and burning trash, and that’s when we get our fires. You also have when the leaves come down in the fall.”
According to Smith, wildfires spread easily in the spring because not all of the vegetation has swelled up with water to help naturally douse or slow the advance of a fire. Lots of green grass or leaves, for instance, means lots of water, which can help put a fire out before it starts. Before everything greens up, however, there is a heightened chance of trees, grass or other debris catching fire.