WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport Fire Department would like to remind the public to use care when discarding any smoking material in order to prevent forest fires.
In the Compo Beach area of Westport, there recently was a near-miss fire. Even with all the rain that came down the last few days, at 1 p.m. Monday, the Westport Fire Department responded to a wood-shingled roof fire that started from a discarded cigarette.
The fire quickly was extinguished and the damage was limited to a few roof shingles, but this could have been a disaster for the home owner if it had not been quickly spotted.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has set the forest fire danger at “moderate” but this quickly will worsen given this week's forecast.
After the snow melts in the Northeast, traditional spring wild fire season begins. This is the time of the year when deciduous trees are bare and the warm spring sun heats up the forest fuels. Forest fuels are made up of anything that burns; typically grasses, leaves, twigs, branches and decaying material in the soil.
If rain comes and if the sun comes out and a breeze picks up, the fine fuels can be available for burning within an hour. With this in mind, remember to completely extinguish any discarded smoking material, carefully dispose of any hot charcoal only in a metal can with a tight cover, and obey the local ordinance with regards to open burning.