- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the threat of wildfires is high in or near forest areas that have been defoliated by a recent caterpillar infestation.

WPRI-TV (http://bit.ly/28U6deE ) reports that the agency is suggesting that residents take extra caution in those areas.

Officials say defoliated areas are more susceptible to wildfires because sunlight is able to shine through trees onto the forest floor. That causes the ground to become drier and more likely to ignite when contacted by flames or embers.

The DEM’s safety tips include using ash trays for smoking and making sure charcoals used for cooking are cold before discarding them.

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Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com

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