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DNR News

July 3, 2024
Contact: Paul Rogers, 616-260-8406

Keep fire safety front and center for Fourth of July holiday

A closeup of a campfire in a proper ring. Whether your Fourth of July plans include fireworks, camping, off-road vehicle riding or free time to work around the yard, take care to keep from sparking a wildfire.

“Nine out of 10 fires are caused by people, and we all need to be careful when we’re using fireworks or doing other outdoor activities,” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Fire danger has been on the lower side this year due to regular rain, but that doesn’t mean there is no risk, especially with fireworks.

“Don’t shoot fireworks into the woods or tall grass, as you can easily start a fire that way,” Rogers said. “Also, it’s important to check local ordinances to make sure you respect your neighbors and use fireworks only on the holiday and adjacent days when they are allowed.”

Here are some other fire safety tips to keep in mind through the holiday and the weekend.


  • When using fireworks on a grassy area, dampen the area with water first and keep a hose and bucket nearby.
  • Soak spent sparklers and other fireworks in a bucket of water before disposing.
  • Do not use sky lanterns or aerial fireworks in state parks or recreation areas.

At camp

A woman demonstrates the correct way to douse a campfire with water to make sure it is out.

  • Build your fire in a fire ring on bare ground, away from trees or low-hanging tree branches.
  • When finished with your fire, douse it thoroughly with water, stir the ashes and douse again. Repeat until cool.
  • Watch for embers that can float out of a fire and ignite dry grass or leaves.

Debris burning

  • Make sure you have permission to burn (burn permit). Permits are not granted on days that are too hot, dry or windy.
  • Keep your fire small and manageable – no larger than 3 feet high and wide.
  • Keep a hose or water source nearby when burning.
  • Consider composting or recycling yard waste instead of burning.
  • Your fire should be at least 10 feet away from logs, stumps or debris.

Learn more about fire safety and burning at Michigan.gov/FireManagement.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.

  • Campfire: Make sure to build your campfire on bare, mineral soil, never grass. Use a fire ring or rocks to surround it.
  • Always put out your fire! When you’re finished with your campfire, make sure the embers are completely out. Drench the fire with water, stir the ashes and then drench it again until the embers feel cool.