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Heat, drought prompt burn bans

Heat, drought prompt burn bans

Local officials have issued a burn ban, effective immediately, for every city within Weakley County, with the exception of the City of Dresden.
A burn ban means no “open-air burning” will be allowed until the region receives a significant amount of rainfall.
“Knowing the Fourth of July holiday is approaching, we encourage the safe use of fireworks under adult supervision. Fireworks are allowed, but we again, emphasize safe use and caution,” Martin Fire Chief Russell Schwahn noted in a press release.
With temperatures expected to climb past 100 degrees over the next few days and no rainfall predicted, Schwahn also encouraged community members to take extra precautions to stay cool.
“If you have someone you are concerned about, call us and we can go and check on them. Be sure your outside pets have plenty of shade and water, too,” Schwahn added. The MFD’s non-emergency number is 587-4919.
Beginning today (Thursday) through Sunday, temperatures are projected to hit 100 degrees each day, with lows expected at 73 degrees.
State officials are also urging citizens to take fire precautions for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is asking the public to refrain from debris burning until significant precipitation is received and to avoid other activities that could cause fire.  
“Most areas of the state are experiencing very hot and dry conditions with low humidity,” State Forester Steven Scott said.
“While permits are not currently required for open, outdoor burning, as a precaution we’re urging citizens to avoid debris burning until conditions improve.”
Burning permits are required by the state Division of Forestry only during official fire season, Oct. 15 through May 15. However, the number of fires statewide has increased since mid-June due to the unusually hot, dry conditions.
“Most of the fires have been smaller, accidental grass fires that have been responded to with the help of local and volunteer fire departments, but we also have had some larger, smoldering woods fires that could be dangerous if not contained,” said Scott.  
Forestry officials say that in addition to escaped debris fires, major causes include sparks from field equipment and vehicles, discarded cigarettes, lightening, campfires, arson and fireworks. Citizens can help support their local fire departments by checking for and following local burn restrictions and quickly reporting any wildfire.

WCP 6.28.12

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