Increased fire risk in southern Illinois and southeastern Missou - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Increased fire risk in southern Illinois and southeastern Missouri

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WILLIAMSON CO. -- The News 3 weather team is warning of an increased fire risk in our area.

Low afternoon humidity, strong gusty winds and lots of dead leaves all play a part in the heightened risk.

Williamson County Fire Chief Jeremy Norris said not burning at all right now is the best advice, adding his department has seen a big increase in grass fires over the last few days.  

"It was one right after another, it was a long day yeah," Norris said.

It's because Williamson County was called to three fires back to back to back on Friday.

"It gets really stressful when we get one, two, three calls going at the same time," Norris said. 

While performing a routine fire safety inspection Monday, Norris was called to another brush fire near Paulton Road.

"Please be extremely cautious in this area," he said. "It's notorious as we get toward the noon hour, the humidity drops. If you're going to burn, do it early and even better yet just don't burn right now."

Norris said strong gusty winds and lots of dead leaves along with low humidity are the perfect recipe for creating grass and brush fires.

"It's only a grass fire till it catches your house on fire or somebody's car or somebody else's property that ultimately you're responsible for," Norris said.

It's something he said everyone should be thinking about before they burn.

"Not only do we have our own stuff running, we're having to pull mutual aid from other communities and pull them away from their own towns," said Norris.

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