Dry weather brings increased fire danger

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The Roanoke City and County Fire Departments are asking people to be extra cautious when burning anything outdoors.

There have already been two brush fires in the county just this week, and with dry conditions, it's a problem for states all across the east coast.

Another brush fire happened last month along Interstate 81.

Tiffany Bradbury with Roanoke City Fire and EMS says it's not uncommon this time of year.

"We have an increase in fires in the cold weather months. People start breaking out the space-heaters, they start having candles, they have more people in their homes," said Bradbury.

Bradbury says the majority of fires are caused by human error, and it can have major consequences.

There is a fire currently burning in eastern Tennessee, and there is another fire crews are battling in North Carolina.

Both are thought to be caused by burning debris or camp fires left unattended.

"Sometimes people will have had a campfire, sometimes they simply are taking out the ashes maybe from their wood stove or their fireplace and don't let them completely cool, and then on a windy day like this, it doesn't take much to get an ember and get it started," said Bradbury.

Other fires, like one in Franklin County this year, were caused by someone burning debris.

Bradbury says there are easy steps everyone can take in the dry season to make sure a fire doesn't get out of control.

"You do want to check with your local fire officials before you do a bonfire or maybe you have some things that you have to burn, and you always want to make sure that you let the dispatch center know if you're going to be doing a burn also because a lot of people will start calling in a fire, and then you also want to have water handy. You just have to be smart about it," said Bradbury.