SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - Even though rain is in the forecast , Smith County Officials are urging citizens to be extra alert as drought conditions worsen under the current burn ban.
Volunteer Fire Departments have battled multiple grass and structure fires since the burn ban was issued in Smith County last month.
"Citizens need to be extra cautious as conditions in Smith County remain prime for sudden grass fires," Smith County Judge Joel Baker said. "Use common sense while staying within the guidelines of the burn ban and watch out for others who may not realize they are creating a fire hazard."
Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton attributes two of largest grass fires this summer to drivers inadvertently causing sparks while driving on flat tires.
"Traveling even a short distance on a flat tire can ignite grass on the side of a road," Mr. Seaton warns.
The Smith County Fire Marshal's Office is actively ticketing burn ban violators as conditions continue to become dryer and more dangerous. Citizens are encouraged to contact the Fire Marshal's Office if they notice any activity that may violate the burn ban or create an unnecessary risk of fire.
Smith County Fire Marshal's
903-590-2652 / 24 Hr.:
Under the current burn ban the following activities are prohibited:
• Outdoor burning
• Burning in barrels
• Disposal of lit tobacco products
• Use of fireworks
• Any other activity that could result in an outdoor fire
Grilling is permitted under the current burn ban with extreme caution and only within a grill that can be closed to contain all open flames and flammable materials.
Unusually high temperatures, lack of rainfall and low moisture levels have contributed to need for a ban to be issued.