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State asks people to carefully dispose ashes, prevent fires

April 14, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State environmental officials in Rhode Island are asking residents to be careful when disposing of ashes.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says now through mid-May is the traditional spring fire period and the improper disposal of wood stove ashes is a frequent cause of wildfires during this season.

Ben Arnold, principal forest ranger, says ashes can hold hot embers for several days. He says if they’re thrown into the woods, they can start a brush fire when grass and leaf litter dry out.

He says ashes should be put into a metal can, thoroughly mixed with water and disposed of in an area that wouldn’t ignite, such as on bare soil.

DEM’s Division of Forest Environment has produced online safety videos about proper ash disposal and safe open burning.

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