Hot, dry air creates danger of wildfires in Tenn.

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee is seeing dry conditions that normally don't develop until late summer and the wildfire danger is increasing.

State Forestry Division officials report an increase in the number of fire calls - both those the state responds to and those that volunteer fire departments report to the agency.

The Drought Assessment Monitor shows almost all of Tennessee is under some degree of stress from lack of rainfall. Only Polk and Monroe counties in extreme southeastern Tennessee reported adequate moisture on Thursday.

Information Forester Tim Phelps said the low relative humidity and the extremely hot temperatures have dried grasses in open areas and leaf litter in the woods. He said that makes it easier for fires to start and spread and harder to fight them.

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