Despite plenty of recent rain, fire officials said grass and vegetation are still very dry. Those conditions combined with wind are creating the perfect recipe for fires.
Fire crews had little time for rest Monday, still responding to repeated calls after a weekend full of brush fires. A fire in Ardmore Monday, for example, burned more than an acre and threatened several homes and structures.
Crews said this past weekend is one of the busiest they've had in a long time, and the dry and windy conditions have contributed to fires in both rural and suburban areas. They ask people to use common sense if they're going to burn.
East Limestone Volunteer Fire Chief Joey Boyd said conditions make the area like a tinderbox. "Once it starts, and with any bit of wind, especially with lawns and short grass, it's going to run across the top of it in just minutes," he said.
Firefighters said they've seen fires start in several ways in the last few days, including people flicking cigarette butts out the window and into the brush. They also advise people to check chains on the back of any trailer they might have; if it drags on the ground, it could cause sparks. They also said fires have started from broken tires, with the broken rubber acting as an ignition source.
"Any time you have an open flame, be careful of it. Don't leave it unattended, and don't hesitate to call, even if it seems minor. We'd rather come out on something small than something big," said Huntsville Fire Chief David Button.
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