Dry weather sparks local wild fires

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
The recent dry weather, coupled with a spike in temperatures, has been a welcome site to many weekend warriors but not for local firemen who have been called to solve problems when yard work goes a rye.
Russellville Fire Lt. Neal Willis said that many green thumbed, well-intended residents have sparked nearly double the amount of grass and woods fires as what the department considers average for this time of year.
"People just need to realize how dry it's been and how long it's been since it's rained," he said. "With it being as dry as it as, just one little spark and it's gone (up in flames)."
Fire Chief Joe Mansell is asking that residents hold off burning their debris until Franklin County can scrape together a little rainfall.
"Right now, everything's dry," he said, "and even though it's warmed up, without a lot of water, it will burn real easy."
Mansell said once rain begins to fall, careful landscapers could begin working on their debris piles because grass and trees will begin to green and be harder to ignite and fire would not spread so easily.
In a 12-hour period from midnight to noon Friday, the Russellville Fire Department responded to four woods fires.
If the fire department is going to get any relief from woods fires any time soon, it will have to come from those in their fire district. There is less than a 20-percent chance of rain each day for the next 10 days. Also, a major woods fire broke out in Red Bay Friday afternoon, burning several acres.

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