There is no open burning permitted today and likely none this weekend according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) which issued a VERY HIGH forest fire danger level for today, Friday, May 3.\u00a0 Any permit to burn brush is not valid when the forest fire danger is rated high, very high, or extreme. DEEP is urging residents this weekend to be especially careful with outdoor cooking and camping fires. Having a water source and a few hand tools nearby are proven prevention tools that can quickly extinguish any stray embers. \u201cConnecticut has already had 52 reported human-caused brush fires this year that have burned more than 160 acres and more are being reported every day,\u201d said DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen. \u201cSeveral of this year\u2019s brush fires have been large by Connecticut standards including one in Roxbury that burned more than 30 acres. There has been little rain lately and continued dry conditions are forecast for the next few days so everyone needs to be extra diligent while they are outside. \u201cAnyone spotting a forest fire should remain calm and dial 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible to the local fire department.\u201d Last month the Wilton Fire Department responded to a a controlled burn that \u201cgot out of control,\u201d according to Fire Chief Paul Milositz. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish it before it did any damage. Forest fire prevention tips DEEP encourages residents to protect their families and homes from forest fire by: \u2022 Making a fire safe zone around your house. Clean flammable vegetation and debris from at least 30 feet around the house and any outbuildings; \u2022 Pruning away the lower limbs of evergreens that are within the fire safe zone. Evergreens catch fire easily during dry periods and burn quickly; \u2022 Removing any limbs which overhang the roof or chimney; \u2022 Regularly removing leaves and needles from gutters; \u2022 Not storing firewood in the fire safe zone; \u2022 Using fire resistant roofing materials; \u2022 Making sure firefighters can find and access your home. Mark your house and roads clearly and prune away limbs and trees along your driveway which do not allow fire truck access; \u2022 Having an escape plan and practicing it; \u2022 Following state and local open burning laws; \u2022 Staying with outside fires until they are completely safe and dead out; and \u2022 Disposing of wood ashes in a metal bucket, soaking them with water before dumping them. For those who enjoy the use of Connecticut\u2019s parks, forests, and open spaces, use fires with caution and follow these recommendations: \u2022 Obey local laws regarding open fires, including campfires; \u2022 Keep all flammable objects away from fire; \u2022 Have firefighting tools nearby and handy; \u2022 Carefully dispose of hot charcoal; \u2022 Drown all fires; \u2022 Extinguish smoking materials with caution. For more information on fire safety, call DEEP\u2019s Forestry Division at 860-424-3630. Daily forest fire danger information is available at http:\/\/www.ct.gov\/deep\/forestfiredanger.