Burn bans still in effect despite recent rainfall - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Burn bans still in effect despite recent rainfall

A large grass fire ignited in Fayette County last Friday. A large grass fire ignited in Fayette County last Friday.

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - Most Mid-Southerners are thankful for the recent rain, but officials say it wasn't enough to lift many burn bans across the Mid-South.

Grass fires have been a problem for local firefighters for weeks.  As recently as this past Friday, firefighters spent hours fighting dozens of grass fires in Fayette County.

"We've been so dry that the rain is going to soak in and everything, but in three or four days, the way the wind is blowing, it'll all be dry again," said Covington Fire Chief Jerry Craig.

According to Craig, dry conditions and dead vegetation are the cause of the fires. In Dyer County, acres of soybean fields were burned because of dry conditions.

The fire also threatened homes in the area.

"From the way I see it, we'd have to have about four inches of rain before things would be back to normal," Craig said.

Two weeks ago, it took Craig's firefighters several days to fight a 20 acre grass fire outside Covington.

According to Action News 5's Ron Childers, dry conditions will more than likely continue into the winter months.

"Even with the rain, it doesn't bring dead vegetation back to life, and that stuff is like kindling for any spark it may encounter," Childers said.

Fire officials say burn bans will more than likely stay in effect through Thanksgiving unless the Mid-South gets more rain.

If you are tempted to build a bonfire this fall, check first to see if a burn ban is in effect where you live.  Those who violate that ban will be written a citation.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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