Michigan suspends burn permits due to coronavirus

Posted at 7:37 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 20:13:35-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Permits for open burning will be suspended across the state in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home executive order.

“We need to make sure our emergency response resources are available where they are needed at this time,” said Dan Laux, fire supervisor, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Forest Resources Division.

“Less open burning means less potential for escaped fires and that means staff can deal with other, more critical needs.”

The suspension will also help protect first responders and firefighters from COVID-19 infection, according to the DNR last week.

“It’s out of an abundance of caution that we want to support the statewide effort to fight COVID-19,” Laux said. "Suspending burn permits in much of the state means fewer people will be burning debris – the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Michigan.”

Open burning in some parts of the state may still be allowed in areas where the ground is still snow covered.

“This preventative approach to limiting wildland fires is important so that first responders can continue making medical calls during this health crisis," State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer said.