Dry conditions causing fire risk
by Bailey Richards
BULAN — Continuously dry weather conditions in Perry County are causing difficulties for forestry crews as they fight to knock down a brush fire Tuesday afternoon.
The fire started near Bulan on Highway 80 at approximately 11 a.m. due to an apparent electrical malfunction at a nearby utility pole. The fire quickly spread to the hill side and is currently only a few hundred feet from homes and businesses.
Jakes Branch Fire department was the first on scene along with the forestry department and power company. More fire departments had been called out as the fire continued to burn more acreage.
According to Kristie Whitaker with the forestry department in Lothair, the recent weather conditions are making fighting this fire difficult.
“We are on that fire right now,” Whitaker said Thursday afternoon. “We have been having to take extra precautions because it is really dry and really hot.”
Since the fire has been close to populated areas, forestry officials are hoping to use some of their equipment to keep the fire from spreading closer to the homes.
“It started fairly close to the homes to begin with,” said Whitaker. “We have actually got our dozer and are cutting a pretty good size line around the homes to try to protect those.”
She estimated that crews will continue to work at this first through the night.
With the recent hot and dry weather, fires like these can start more easily. While some county judges have issued burn bans, Perry County currently remains free of a ban limiting burning.
Keeping water nearby and accessible while starting fires is always a good idea, Whitaker noted. If you are planning on shooting fireworks for the upcoming July 4th holiday, avoid wooded areas and dry brush that could burn easily.
“With the forecast that I have seen, I don’t know of any county that shouldn’t look into a burn ban,” said Whitaker. “Just be extremely careful.”
The National Weather Service forecast calls for dry conditions to continue, with temperatures reaching close to 100 degrees by the end of the week.
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