Leaves are turning red and gold across Michigan, and for many, that means it’s time to take care of fall yard cleanup before the snow flies. But, before lighting that match to ignite leaf piles and brush, residents need to remember to check if conditions are safe for burning and know their local fire ordinances. DNR Fire Prevention Specialists say although temperatures are getting cooler, dry weather and high winds can still carry sparks with the potential to start wildfires. When burning, people should always have a water source nearby and never leave a fire unattended. And, while it’s ok to burn natural materials like leaves, branches and logs, it’s illegal to burn plastic or other trash. People are also encouraged to consider mulching or composting fallen leaves, which enriches the soil and does not pose a wildfire hazard. U.P residents can visit Michigan.gov/BurnPermit or call 866-922-BURN to find out whether burning is allowed in their area and get more information on responsible burning.