There is a high risk for wildfires across more than half of Maine after months with little rain, according to the Maine Forest Service.

The service’s Wildfire Danger Report, based on the National Fire Danger Rating System, says the current wildfire risk is “high” across southern and central Maine and as far north as Jackman to the west and Houlton to the east. Several brush fires were reported Sunday in Hancock County.

The national rating system is divided into five danger levels: low, moderate, high, very high and extreme.

When risk is high, dead branches and leaves ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes, according to the national rating system. Unattended brush fires and campfires are likely to escape, fires spread rapidly and high-intensity burning may develop on slopes. Fires may become serious and difficult to control unless firefighting is immediate and at the source.

To avoid starting wildfires, follow local ordinances and get required permits before burning outdoors. Never leave fires unattended and completely extinguish with water. Never discard burning cigarettes, matches or other materials from moving vehicles or anywhere near woods or fields. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, keep a shovel, water and fire retardant nearby, and remove all flammables from the yard when burning.

Read more about preventing wildfires.


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