Around Maryland, Police/Fire, Weather

Wildfires set Maryland ablaze: 199 incidents in 2023

BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland Forest Service has released new data that shows a significant increase in the number of wildfires in the state in recent years.

According to the Annual Wildland Fire Report, 199 wildfires were recorded in Maryland in 2023, burning a total of 4,483 acres of land. This is higher than the 10-year average of 127.8 wildfires per year and 2,376 acres burned.

The report also found that February was the worst month for wildfires in the state in terms of acreage burned, with approximately 3,760 acres – about 84% of the total wildfire acreage – burning in this month. Only 517 acres were burned in April, the second worst month for wildfires. All other months experienced less than 100 acres burned.

The most common cause of wildfires in Maryland last year was debris burning, which resulted in 71 wildfires. Arson was the second most common cause, with 51 wildfires started by arson. fires that started due to arson caused about 93% of the total acreage burned.

The Maryland Forest Service reminds residents how they can help prevent wildfires by composting rather than burning leaves or other yard debris, and ensuring that camp or backyard fires are properly extinguished. They also recommend that people educate their children about the dangers of lighters, matches, and wildfires.

Prescribed burns are also being carried out by the Maryland Forest Service and partner organizations in order to reduce the risk of wildfires from areas that are susceptible to fire. In 2023, a total of 118 prescribed burns were conducted, covering approximately 9,188 acres.

These burns help to remove dead woody debris and shrub layer that can act as fuel for wildfires. They also allow the growth of new trees and shrubs, which help to create a better habitat for wildlife.

More in the video below.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

Image via Pixabay

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