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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Firefighters have been busy across Southern New England for the past week.
The combination of dry and windy conditions has created a perfect storm for brush fires. 12 News Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca said a “Fire Weather Watch” will remain in effect through Tuesday.
Outdoor burning is not recommended during this time, as fires can spread quickly with low humidity and strong wind gusts.
Providence firefighters made quick work of a brush fire in Neutaconkanut Park Monday afternoon.
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“[The firefighters who initially responded] called for more help immediately,” Providence Deputy Assistant Chief Steve Capracotta said. “They were concerned with how fast it was spreading.”
Across the state, Potterville Fire Chief Rob Greenway said the town of Scituate won’t be issuing any burn permits in the near future due to the dry conditions.
“Right now, just don’t burn at all,” he said. “We get calls all the time for people that [lit a fire] without calling for a permit, and a lot of times we’ll get called for smoke in the area and we go out and ask them to extinguish it.”
In Massachusetts, firefighters rushed to Wild Acres Road in North Attleboro to fight a brush fire that consumed roughly 10 acres Sunday. The cause is unknown at this time, though the North Attleboro Fire Chief Chris Coleman urged residents to heed their warnings.
“People need to be mindful,” he said. “Obviously if there’s no burning, there’s no burning. If you see smoke, smell smoke or see a fire, quickly call 911.”
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) spokesperson Mike Healey tells 12 News the state had been planning on conducting a prescribed burn Monday, but had to call it off.
Prescribed burns are controlled fires in forests and brush that are primarily used to reduce the risk of wildfires, minimize the spread of invasive species and restore natural ecosystems.
It’s unclear when the prescribed burn will be rescheduled to.
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