Firefighters on edge about dry conditions in Tennessee

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Firefighters across Tennessee are on edge ahead of yet another dry weekend. Recently, they’ve dealt with a brush fire shutting down Interstate 65 traffic and a mulch fire causing thousands of dollars in damages to a Spring Hill restaurant.

The fires continue, with no end in sight.

RELATED STORY: State officials issue burn ban for four Tennessee counties

The cause is simple: a statewide drought helping to accelerate otherwise ordinary fires.

“Since October, no rainfall,” said Spring Hill Fire Chief Terry Hood. “We’ve had five or six, what would usually be a small brush fire, turn into a big brush fire.”

The headlines keep coming. To date, four counties have burn bans in effect, and a number of cities have bans as well, including Mt. Juliet and Spring Hill.

“Any outside burning right now is very dangerous,” explained Hood.

Officials urge Tennesseans to mind their cigarette butts and watch for sparks on the roadway.

“Wheel bearings blocking up, throwing sparks on the interstate,” said Hood. “It’s just a number of things that have caused the fires that we’ve had.”

Hunters have also been put on notice.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are advising outdoors man to be mindful of both campfires, and muzzleloader rifles while out on the hunt.

The fires aren’t solely a Tennessee issue. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin declared a statewide emergency on Thursday.