Weather conditions causing brush fires

Weather conditions causing brush fires

PINE BELT (WDAM) - If you're thinking about burning your yard to kill your weeds or burning away garbage and debris, you may want to reconsider or be extremely cautious.

"Just keep in mind that with the cold weather, the low humidity has really dried out everything," Forrest County Fire Coordinator Chip Brown said. "We've already got all the dead grass. So, these fires can get out of control."

Brown said they've received three calls regarding brush fires caused by people who were burning their yards on Wednesday. Jones county Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna said that they had six calls on Wednesday.

Both coordinators said each day they receive several calls for bush fires, some small and some very damaging.

"One of the brush fires went to the neighbor's yard on the neighbor's property and it burned about 2 acres of five-year-old pines," McKenna said. "So, the neighbor that was doing that burning is responsible for all those damages to those pines if the neighbor wants to pursue it."

Brown said that they discourage people to burn this time of year due to the low levels of humidity and wind, but if you insist on doing so, you need to be watching it always.

"We want you to keep a close eye on it," Brown said. "If you're going to burn it, don't leave it unattended and if it does get away from you, call early. Don't wait until it spreads to the neighbor's yard or to the woods. Go ahead and give somebody a call."

McKenna said that you should keep a hose near you along with a rake and shovel and a phone in case of an emergency.

He suggested that the best time to burn is early in the morning and late in the evening when the humidity is higher.

"Now those big trucks, it takes a while for them to get going and get to their location," McKenna said. "So, time is of the essence and just use common sense during this time."

McKenna said they've received 711 reports of brush fires this year so far.