In the week since Rutherford County issued a burn ban for its parched brown landscape, many people have been cited for violating the order.
“We have had about 10 to 15 people since last Friday,” Rutherford County Fire Chief Larry Farley told Nashville's News 2.
The chief said the violators now face penalties up to $2,500 and a year in jail.
He hopes people pay attention to the penalties.
“We believe someone flicking a cigarette out a car caused a 25-acre fire last Sunday in the Rockvale,” said the chief.
“It took us five hours to put out,” he continued, adding. “Within five minutes, 20 acres burned up, that is how dry it is.”
Down the road from the Rutherford County Fire Department headquarters, homebuilder Luke Nemeth worked on his roof at high Noon in 100-degree heat, but he recognizes that his brush pile out front and his campfire pit out back won't be lit up anytime soon.
“I was going to burn it when we had some family here about a month ago, but it was too dry,” he told News 2.
Nemeth said he is very aware of the burn ban which has kept him from cooking out in the fire pit.
“We have not done it in a long time because its do dry, so yeah, we are very conscientious of it,” he added while working on roof.
In total, 29 Tennessee counties have burn bans including most of the counties that surround Nashville. Davidson County, however, is not included in the ban.
Most fire chiefs like Farley say the ban is likely to continue all summer and into the fall unless “we get something like a hurricane rain.”
Click here for the complete burn ban list.
- July 3, 2012: Hendersonville toughens enforcement of fireworks ban
- July 2, 2012: City of Springfield cancels annual fireworks show
- July 2, 2012: Triple digit temperatures to continue through Monday
- July 2, 2012: Murfreesboro approves fireworks ban
- June 30, 2012: Fireworks sales fizzle due to restrictions
- June 28, 2012: Burn bans issued amid hot, dry conditions
- June 28, 2012: Brush fire burns 25 acres, destroys barn in Rutherford County
- June 26, 2012: 2 barns destroyed in Wilson County brush fire
- June 25, 2012: Brush fire threatens Spring Hill golf course
- June 24, 2012: Hot, dry conditions concerning for Mid-State farmers
- June 24, 2012: Dry conditions fueling wildfires in east Tennessee
- June 19, 2012: Cigarette sparks grass fire in Ashland City