Officials see increase in brush fires, warn to be cautious

Fire department busy with grass fires
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - The Trumann Fire Department has stayed busy fighting grass fires this month.

Chief Revis Kemper told Region 8 News they have responded to 38 calls in July alone.

He said the fires often start from just the drop of a cigarette or burning leaves.

During this time of year, the fire department warns residents that these everyday actions can cause a large fire because of the lack of humidity and the dry grass.

"Small fires could turn into a bigger fire, even a structure fire," Kemper said. "That's not something we want to have to deal with."

Officials recommend keeping a water source close by when burning leaves and not leaving a fire unattended.

"The city has an ordinance that the fire shouldn't be more than 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall, and it's only supposed to be yard clippings," Kemper said.

He also said to avoid throwing cigarettes on the highway as much as possible.

"First of all, it's littering, and you shouldn't litter," Kemper said. "It causes fires. When people call in these fires on the interstate, they usually don't know where it's at so we have to spend 5 or 10 minutes sometimes looking for the fire."

Kemper said the heat does not help either.

"We get our firefighters on scene of a big grass fire, and it's already a 100 plus heat index, and then you add fire to that equation, and you start getting some heat exhaustion," he said. "You can run into health problems, for us and the public."

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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Officials have seen an increase in brush fires recently and are warning residents to be cautious. Tips to prevent these fires >> http://bit.ly/29Kwdck

Posted by Region 8 News on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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