CENTERVILLE, OHIO (WDTN) — Ohio wildfire season has arrived, and there are precautions to take to stay safe this fall. 

“Never leave the kitchen unattended while you’re cooking. Never leave a campfire unattended either,” said Scott Jacobs, fire marshal, city of Vandalia Division of Fire.

While it may not quite feel like October, it will soon. Temperatures will be falling off at the end of the week, which is a perfect time to get out camping or just have a fire.

As trees begin to lose leaves and the air dries out, nature is vulnerable to fires. 

“You get really low dew points in the thirties with some wind. Then you can have some fire weather conditions, especially with the dead leaves and stuff on the ground.” said Matthew Campbell, meteorologist, National Weather Service Wilmington.

Ohio has a burn ban for autumn, which restricts open burning in October and November from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. As all the leaves have hit the ground, it creates a stockpile of fuel for a fire. 

“They take off significantly quicker than that, more dense fuel,” said Jacobs. “So when you’ve got a lot of the light dry fuel, they take off and go really rapidly, really quick and they grow really really fast.”

You can still have a fire and keep it safe and contained. 

“In Vandalia, you’re allowed to burn safely in a commercial device. So anything that you buy from a store usually has a cover on it that helps keep the sparks and embers down,” Jacobs said. “And we always tell people to have that extinguishing device, whether it be a garden hose or a way to extinguish and cool that fire. Never leave it.”

State law only applies to unincorporated areas. If you are unsure of a burn ban, contact your local government. 

To learn more, click here.