Both chiefs, along with state officials, are asking the public refrain from burning debris or starting any open flame. Particular precautions should be taken with the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and celebrating with fireworks in areas where they are legal.
State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak issued a statement last week saying, “To avoid risk of injury and property damage associated with consumer fireworks, join other community members in attending a public display put on by trained and licensed professionals.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than twice the number of fires are reported on Independence Day than on any other day of the year in the United States.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry also issued a statement from State Forester Steven Scott, who said, “Most areas of the state are experiencing very hot and dry conditions with low humidity.”
Forestry officials say major causes of fires during these conditions include sparks from field equipment, discarded cigarettes, lightning, campfires, arson and fireworks.
“Conditions are perfect for an uncontrollable and dangerous brush fire that could easily threaten lives and property if care is not taken. We all need to use common sense and good judgement before lighting fires and setting off fireworks,” Woody said.
“The harsh conditions are not only dangerous for fires, but for personal wellbeing. We should be hydrating ourselves and staying in the shade rather than thinking of burning debris in the heat.”