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Dry conditions and new fireworks laws worrying Michigan fire fighters

NILES, Mich. – Two barns caught fire after a controlled burn got out of hand on the 2000-block of S. 15th Street in Niles at around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

According to fire fighters, the homeowner had been burning trash in a barrel and left it unattended when he thought the fire had gone out.  The flames escaped through holes at the bottom of the barrel, ignited dry grass and spread to two small barns nearby.

“When you have a windy day, a dry day, low humidity, those are ideal for something like this to start," described Niles Township Fire Chief Gary Brovold.

Thankfully nobody was hurt and fire fighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to nearby homes.  Like other fire departments across Michiana, Niles Township has been strained by a series of recent fires related to dry weather conditions.  There is a ban on burning on the ground in Niles Township from May 15 to September 1.

“We’ve had several field and brush fires,” Chief Brovold explained.  “It’s to the point now where if we don’t get any rain it’s going to get worse.”

Fire fighters are especially on edge as fireworks sales start to increase.  Fire fighters in Michigan are particularly concerned with the new state law allowing the sale of high powered, consumer fireworks.

“Bottle rockets, roman candles, fire crackers, with all of that stuff legal in the state of Michigan now it’s going to become busier,” explained Chief Brovold.

People are urged to be extra cautious with fireworks given the dry weather.

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