Md. Forest Service says rain is about normal, reducing the fire danger.
The lack of snow this winter has apparently not affected conditions in the state's forests. That's because rainfall has been normal this year, according to Monte Mitchell, State Fire Supervisor for the Maryland Forest Service.
"This time of year, before the leaves start to come on to the trees, anytime we get a few days of drying patterns, that's when we see brush fires occur. But you need a few days of dry before that happens," he says.
Frederick County has received less snow than usual this year, according to the National Climatic Center. But the area has received several days with very light winter precipitation since February, along with some rain.
"Right now, what we're seeing is what we call surface fires, the literal air underneath the leaves is still pretty damp and wet as it usually is this time of year which is good," says Mitchell. "But as we come into spring, and things start to dry out more, we'll certainly see more activity if we don't have adequate rainfall or snowfall."
If you live near a forest, Mitchell says you should take some precautions to keep your house from catching fire in the event of a forest fire. That's means creating a green zone between you and your house," he says. "So there's not burnable material near your house, leaves and litter, right up next to your house. So if a fire does occur, it can't burn into that structure."