Rural fire crew deal with increase in brush fires as temperatures rise

Rural fire crew deal with increase in brush fires as temperatures rise
Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 5:29 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Fire crews in rural portions of the Tri-State are dealing with an increase in large brush fires this time of year.

The Ross Township Fire Department says residents aren’t following the burn ban the state of Ohio has in place.

Department officials believe one of the issues is people may not know that Ohio has a burn ban in effect this time of year.

They say they’ve been on quite a few runs since the snow melted, one of the most recent burned across 10 acres.

While the warmup has been nice, fire crews are feeling the heat as they continue to respond to brush fires sparked by people not following the burn ban.

" A lot of people don’t know about the ban. The state of Ohio has had the March, April May Burn ban probably for 3 or 4 years now,” said Ross Fire Department Cpt. Jared Morris.

That lack of knowledge has cost fire crews around the Tri-State time and resources.

Crews in Morgan Township, Turtlecreek Township and several other departments say they have all been answering these calls.

“We call for a lot of resources and we take a lot of vehicles that have a lot of water just to get it out. It’s pretty labor-intensive work,” said Morris.

Cpt. Morris says when the weather turns residents like to get rid of the pile of yard waste they’ve been collecting since the fall.

The problem is they can get out of hand quickly, especially on a day like Wednesday with wind speeds reached gusts of 35 mph.

“Today [Wednesday] would be a really bad day for us because fire has a tendency to spread a little faster with the higher wind speeds. A small 1-acre fire could become 20 or 30 acres,” says Morris

Crews say a fire that size can become difficult for them to manage and several times this year multiple departments in Butler County have been called to a similar scene.

“It’s just a matter of hopefully getting in front of it and putting it out before it gets to any structures or any residences or barns and things like that around here,” says Morris.

Ross Township is not the only one dealing with this issue, Turtlecreek Township says they had a brush fire on Sunday that burnt through about 6 or 7 acres.

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