Brushfire dangers

JONESBORO (KAIT) If you drive down most roads in Region Eight you will eventually come to a section that is heavily wooded.

All that timber that fell during the ice storm along with brush and dry leaves can spell problems for rural fire fighters and danger for homeowners.

As I struggled to walk through the woods it amazed me how thick the debris layer is.

Local fire fighters could be in for a tough year if a brush fire flares up.

Wayne Miller, Asst. Chief, Philadelphia Volunteer Fire Department, "It's gonna present a problem due to the amount of timber down in the woods. As this stuff is drying out it's going to present a tremendous fire load if we get a woods fire, something of that nature."

With limited Forestry Department resources the brunt of brush fire fighting falls onto volunteer fire departments.

They are already planning ahead.

Miller, "We have mutual aid agreements with the neighboring departments for assistance because if we get one out in the big timber with a lot of woods it's gonna take every resource we can get. "

Miller says with sunny days and low humidity the woods are drying up.

Many people in the country have chosen to burn their piles.

Shane Tacker said he really didn't have a better option.

"I've got 5 acres and lots of trees and it's just not feasible. I'm also disabled so I'm not able to get everything out to the road like it would take."

If you decide you want to burn your brush piles make sure you keep your fires small so you can contain them. Keep them away from outlying buildings and stay with them till they are absolutely out. Because if you go off and leave one with some embers there and a high wind gets up it can rekindle and blow off to an unburned area from there.

Tacker has numerous piles burning in his pasture, he said he is "keeping the piles small and making sure there's no fuel around it."

Chief Miller says there have been bad and very bad years in the past for fires.

"But we hope it don't repeat itself this year because there is so much burnable material on the ground now."

If you have a fire get away from you or you see a brush fire--make sure you call 911 and give the best location of the fire that you are able to.

That aids in response time and how the blaze will be fought.