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      Fire departments want people to be aware of recreational fires

      Hot dry conditions have fire department officials a little concerned Friday night, because a discarded cigarette or even an unattended recreational fire can lead to a bigger problem.

      Hot dry conditions have fire department officials a little concerned Friday night, because a discarded cigarette or even an unattended recreational fire can lead to a bigger problem.

      Tri Township Fire department Lt. Chris Costigan said his department has been busy over the last 24 hours. Busy because of dry conditions, high winds and fires that have gotten out of control. He said although it looks green and plush, there's plenty of dead vegetation underneath that can be fuel for a fire.

      "The thing people make a mistake with is because everything is green light right now. They think it won't catch fire but there is a lot of dead vegetation underneath and that's kind of what we ran into yesterday. It got into the woods and burned quite a large area off actually and even with the green conditions it's still dry and there's still alot of dead vegetation underneath. So you need to be aware of that also," Costigan said.

      He also said that those recreational fires are nice, but that some people leave them unattended after a late night get together and that too can lead to bigger problems later on.

      "You need to make sure they're out before you leave them unattended. The unattended fires are the ones that cause the most problems. So at the end of the evening, put some water on it and make sure it's out. Don't just assume. With these windy conditions picking up, it doesn't take much for it to flame back up and get out of hand," Costigan said.

      Costigan also said to have a water source on hand if you do plan to have a recreational fire. He also said that a quick phone call to your local fire department to alert them about a bonfire or something similar will also help as well.

      Costigan also added that if you think a recreational fire or a controlled burn is getting out of control, call the fire department as soon as possible.

      He said a fire department would rather have the fire out rather than having a structure fire on its hands when it arrives on the scene.

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