Dry, Windy Conditions Fuel Fires Across the Stateline

WTVO/WQRF -- Windy, dry weather forced firefighters to snuff out several grass fires that started as controlled burns. Now, departments are starting to feel  the heat on their resources.

Smoldering and burned to a crisp; A  blackened shell is all that remains of a shed in Stillman Valley after a  controlled burn got out of control.

"Sometimes people start small, small  grass fires to burn off some yard waste and if they're unattended or if  sometimes they turn their head, by the time they turn back around they end up having a building involved," said Chief Chad Hoefle, Stillman Valley Fire Department. 

And this building is now a total loss. It's far from the only example, though. Stillman Fire has responded to more than a dozen out  of control fires within the past week.

"We had agencies going to another  fire when this one came out so we're kind of running all over the place,"  said Chief Hoefle.

Up in Rockton, a similar scene. This was the second grass fire within one hour that firefighters had to tame Wednesday afternoon.  Crews had to haul in water in giant tanker trucks and spray down hay to put  it out.

"It hurts our resources so we have to call in other agencies to  give us a hand is basically what it amounts to," said Chief Kirk Wilson, Rockton  Fire Protection District. 

And as Chief Wilson points out, it's  technically not even the legal burning season yet. That starts April 15th for  those not zoned agriculture. On a windy day like Wednesday, fire officials say  people should think twice before burning.

"Just make sure that you're  doing the right thing and just use some common sense that's all we ask,"  said Chief Wilson. 

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