Burn Bans Lifted, But Conditions Still Concern For Brush Fires - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Burn Bans Lifted, But Conditions Still Concern For Brush Fires

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     Even with a couple of burn bans lifted Wednesday, conditions in some areas could still be conducive for brush fires. Local fire officials say they look at a lot of factors when giving the all clear.

     Dry conditions for the last few weeks led several Quad Cities area counties to issue a ban on open burning. All the green grass that's starting to come out is one reason there's less of a concern. However, the threat remains to a certain degree and we saw proof of that Wednesday in a rural area.

      Wind blowing at 40 mph, gusting through trees and across fields, coupled with some dry vegetation still in many areas. Maysville Fire Chief and President of the Scott County Fire Chiefs Association, Scott Roenfeldt, said Wednesday was not a good day to burn.

     "We did get over and inch of rain over the weekend and it started greening things up dramatically, but there's still a lot of dead grass out there we need to be mindful of," said Roenfeldt.

     Firefighters throughout the area have dealt with a number of issues like this recently. There was a brush fire Wednesday afternoon West of Montpelier, Iowa which charred the land as firefighters doused it to keep it from spreading.

     "Embers can get up in the air and can go for a long ways before they drop and start something else on fire," added Roenfeldt.

     Burn bans are meant to avoid those kinds of situations. How they are enacted depends on the county. Each fire department in Scott County will take a look at recent precipitation, how green the grass is as well as wind speeds. There is a vote made with a simple majority rule to either issue or lift the burn ban.

     "We are bound together by mutual aid agreements and things so if somebody thinks they're going to be out fighting fire they don't want to bring everybody else," said Roenfeldt.

     The request goes to the Emergency Management Association and the state fire marshal's office for approval. Though many area counties are now burn ban free, fire officials are still urging people to use common sense.
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