Area Sees Increase In Brush Fires

Reported by: Webb Wright
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Updated: 11/14/2013 7:14 pm
       It can be a recipe for disaster, the fall months bringing with it several factors that contribute to an increase in brush fires.
       "It's been very, very dry since about the first of September. This time of year is typically very dry and it is not uncommon to have quite a few brush fires," says Chattanooga City Forester Gene Hyde.
       Chattanooga Fire Department PIO Bruce Garner adds that his department has seen an increase in brush fire related calls.
       "We have a lot of leaves on the ground and it is kind of dry and windy we'll see sort of an uptick on grass and brush fires like this."
       Those dangers aren't just limited to rural areas. Even in more urban areas like the Chattanooga city limits, all it takes is a simple spark to turn a small blaze into a big problem.
       "Those things can be pretty harmless, but they can also with some good winds whip up very very quickly and turn into a big blaze that can even threaten homes even in this area."
        "There's the old saying the fire ladder, which is leaves and debris and branches on the ground and that catches something higher up in the canopy of the trees and then all of the sudden you've got a big fire on your hands," adds Hyde.
         As the air gets drier and the fall leaves tumble to the ground, there are simple steps you can take to keep your property safe.
         "Almost every day when I'm driving around, I see somebody who will throw out a cigarette butt, a lit cigarette butt. I always caution people to please be careful with their cigarettes, with fire, with fireworks, with anything that has a flame to it that could possibly spark a fire," cautions Hyde.
          "At home, get rid of the leaves that are around your house. Get the leaves out of your gutters, and clean all that up so that there's less that can burn around your house," notes Garner.
          The air pollution control bureau determines whether controlled burns are allowed depending on the predicted daily air quality. For more information http://apcb.org/
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