What you can do to prevent fires in dry conditions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

What you can do to prevent fires in dry conditions

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Fire Chief Mike Bucy Fire Chief Mike Bucy
STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -

Even though you see green on the ground, firefighters say that because of a lack of moisture this spring and winter, the underbrush is dry. So, when a fire gets close, the green can dry up quickly.

“Any spark can really set this off,” says Chief Mike Bucy of Stevens County Fire District 1.

Saturday, the Sunnyvale Fire in Nine Mile Falls grew to 3.5 acres and it was unintentionally human caused, according to firefighters.

“It went from small to almost out of hand very quickly, just because of the dry brittleness and the breezes that are created,” Bucy says.

Stevens County is under a burn ban, meaning no open burning is allowed unless it's a backyard barbecue, chimney fire or small recreational fires. You have to use the right fuel too. Embers can fly off of unseasoned wood, meaning the wood is not dry enough. Moisture in the wood can cause fires.

“If it's good seasoned wood, it's going to burn hot, very little smoke, very little ash coming off of it,” Bucy says.

He also warns against throwing cigarettes out the window when driving. Bucy says the dry conditions and the lack of shade on the road can lead to fires. He says car accidents and sparks from bad brakes can also cause fires.

Firefighters say even though fireworks aren't under the ban for Stevens County, be careful. “They're designed to create sparks. They have a lot of fuel packed into a small area. They are a massive concern.”

Most of all, they're not trying to hamper people's recreation. “We just need them to be extra careful,” Bucy says.

Due to the dry conditions, Bucy says the ban could be extended to October.

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