Local fire department warns dry conditions are igniting brush fires

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OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58)-- The weather is finally warming up, and underneath all of the melted snow and ice is dead grass.

That grass can act as an accelerant for brush fires when the conditions are just right. 

"Very dry days coupled with a large amount of wind is a recipe for usually a decent fire to occur," Western Lakes Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Haerter said. 

A brush fire is an uncontrolled fire that typically happens in a vegetated area.

Something as simple as a lit cigarette butt or a spark from a grill can start aflame, get picked up by the wind and spread faster than you can imagine.

"A fire that either starts small and gets larger or gets large very quickly," Haerter said. 

If the fire burns out of control, it can lead to significant property damage.

"If it's predictable, it's preventable," Haerter said. 

Western Lakes Fire District posted an important reminder to its Facebook page.


Haerter suggests keeping a means of extinguishment nearby when grilling or using a burn pit. If you're in your backyard, that could be the hose attached to your house.

"To use common sense is the biggest thing, and often times incidents that we respond to are because a lack of that was exercised," Haerter said.

Every community has different guidelines for how burning can be done.

If a fire does burn out of control, call 911. 

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