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Local fire departments warn of brush fires

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MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB)– With hot and dry conditions across the Panhandle, the possibility of brush fires skyrockets. Some local fire departments are already dealing with the consequences. ​

This weekend, the Marianna Fire Department responded to three different brush fires.​

They say they’re not surprised.

“We do have a lot of brush and vegetation still on the ground from hurricane michael and being that the wood has lost its moisture content, that creates a serious problem,” said Nakeya Lovett, Marianna Fire Department Chief.​

When brush is exposed to hot conditions for too long without any rain, they begin to dry out. If the brush is exposed to fire, it can ignite quickly and spread rapidly.

Brush fires can start for many reasons, sometimes unintentionally.​

“People pull over to the side of the road with a hot muffler, it can ignite a brush fire. You know, people careless with cigarettes, smoking, tossing out a cigarette without actually putting it out,” Lovett said.​

Sometimes fires are unavoidable, but he says you can take steps to protect your home and belongings.​

“Create defensible space around your home where you don’t have a lot of wood stacked close to your house…things like that of that nature,” Lovett said.​

Being responsible for starting a brush fire also has consequences.​

“There’s very serious violations and fines and possible jail time to be handed out for somebody who’s careless and causes a large scale brush fire,” Lovett said.​

As we head into a period of hot air, wind, and no rain…void starting any fires, big or small.​

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