Nearly two weeks now without any significant rainfall in Emmet and Charlevoix counties has caused an increase in wildfires in the region, according to the local Department of Natural Resources forest fire supervisor, Don Klingler.
"We've seen an increase in smaller wildfires over the last week," Klingler explained. "Basically (it is caused by a) lack of moisture, and obviously we're seeing some of the fireworks that are starting small grass fires."
"We want people to go out and recreate and have a good time," he said. "That said, you are responsible for any fire you set. Make sure it's dead out before you leave it."
When it comes to fireworks, the forest fire supervisor advises those who plan to set them off to do so in an area free of dry or dead trees, leaves and grass that could combust. Instead, he said, a field with green grass or an area of dirt would be ideal.
Between a quarter and a half inch of rain is predicted in the region today, Monday, according to Brian Adam, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gaylord.
"As we speak, a system is knocking on the doorstep this morning," Brian said at 8:30 a.m. Monday. "A big area of rainfall is pushing into northwest Michigan this morning. It should start raining there within the hour."
But, unless the rain continues and a significant amount falls, the fire danger will go unchanged, Klingler explained.
"With spotty rain, we only will see the fire danger increase, especially if we get some wind," he said.