FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Despite the heavy rain Maryland has seen so far this year, officials are urging caution as the state’s wildfire season gets underway.

The Frederick News-Post reports Oct. 7 kicked off the state’s fall wildfire season.

Monte Mitchell is state fire supervisor for the Maryland Forest Service. He says about 97 percent of wildfires in Maryland are started by humans. Outdoor burning is the leading cause, with arson coming in second.

Battalion Chief Kenny Poole, Frederick County’s fire marshal, urges residents not to be lulled into a false sense of security by this year’s heavy rains.

He says all it takes is a few days of dry weather for the fire risk to significantly increase.

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