Grass fire season upon us with weather warming up and conditions drying out
Sioux City, IA (SIOUXLAND NEWS) —
Grass fires have been steadily inceasing over the past weeks. This increase isn't new to Sioux City Fire and Rescue.
They aren't worried about the increase, instead they want Siouxlanders to be better educated when it comes to these fires.
On average the Sioux City Fire and Rescue tackles about fifty grass fires a year.
For the most part these fires stay pretty contained but with the weather change these fires become more frequent.
"The dry conditions we have this time of the year and in the fall it doesn't take too much. We get a lot of farm machinary in the fields that could throw a spark and the next thing we know we have a whole field on fire," said Sioux City Fire and Rescue Capt. Dustin Johnson.
While farm equipment can play a role in grass fires being started even the most simple things can too, like throwing a cigarette butt out the window.
Captain Dustin Johnson says if you are going to burn just knowing your surroundings and being aware of conditons can play a pivotal role in preventing grass fires.
Johnson said, "When it's dry like this and you have a real heavy wind it can dramatically increase the size of a fire and fire spreads. Just the situational awareness of this is really important."
Although Johnson knows it may be unavoidable, he says the best way to prevent these fires is not burning at all.
"If you don't have to burn, don't do it. There's some pretty big risks that are involved with it. Next thing you know this fire that you are burning some old tree trunks and stuff, now it's spreading to a field, now it could spread into a neighborhood. So, there's a lot of risk and people just need to weigh those out," said Johnson.
If a grass fire were to break out while you are around make sure to stay in the burnt areas.
Also the wind plays a major factor so watch which way the wind is blowing to keep yourself out of harms way.