Local fire departments prepare for brush fire season

PLYMPTON, Mass. — This week’s dry weather, low humidity and wind are ideal ingredients to make brush fires across Massachusetts. Early spring is typically a busy time for firefighters as people rush to conduct open burning before the season ends on May 1. But local fire departments say they’re prepared.

Last month several brush fires quickly got out of control along the South Shore. The Plympton Fire Department hopes that doesn’t happen in their town, but they’re ready if disaster strikes.

“We really brought them out there to show them what hazards they might face while they’re fighting a wildfire,” said Capt. John Sjostedt of the Plympton Fire Department.

The Plympton Fire Department recently completed brush fire training. They went deep into the woods where firefighters practiced fighting a brush fire. Remote locations are often a challenge.

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“They learn how the vehicle operates in the woods, kind of get an idea of what they may encounter out there, some dangers. For example, some limbs that may be hanging out there, they could fall and hit them,” Sjostedt said.

Crews from Bourne Fire/Rescue also recently held brush fire training. They teamed up with firefighters from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

In order to burn, residents must have a permit from their local fire department, and fires should be kept small and at least 75 feet away from a building and utility lines.

“A lot of our fire origins, unfortunately, come from permitted burns that get out of control,” said Dave Celino, chief fire warden for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The state recommends you keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose, a shovel and a rake close by, and an adult must constantly monitor any permitted burn. Burning is only allowed from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, open burning is not allowed at any time in several cities and towns, some of which include Boston, Cambridge, Lawrence and Worcester.