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One does not normally expect the danger of wildfire to even be a factor at this time of year. But with the lack of rainfall and unseasonably warm temperatures seen in the month of May, the fire danger is high and the lack of moisture is becoming a serious problem for area farmers.
“It’s going to take a lot more rain than we got overnight to green things back up,” said Ava Rural Fire Chief Delbert Murray Tuesday afternoon while putting out a grass fire north of Ava.
As an anticipated cool-down moves across the region this week, scattered showers are in the forecast, but so far this area has seen very little precipitation. Fields that are usually lush and green at this time of year are brown and dry, and farmers are concerned that their first cutting of hay may be the last – if we don’t get rain soon.
Because of the dry conditions, folks are asked to be extremely careful with any outside burning. Overnight showers may give a false sense of security when it comes to burning trash. But as long as the overgrowth of vegetation is dry and brittle, there remains a very distinct fire danger.
Even in town, the Ava City Fire Department has been called to put out grass fires in recent days, both of which started from an unknown origin.
The most recent fire occurred after midnight Tuesday morning in the industrial park area west of Emerson Climate Technologies.
A couple of weeks ago, firemen extinguished a blaze on the old drive-in theater property along NW 12th Avenue.