Jason Whalen, fire administrator at the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department, the state is facing a high-to-very-high risk of fire danger over the next several days.
“We’ve got the warmer temperatures and still a lot of dead and dormant vegetation out there and it’s going to get hotter as the week goes,” Whalen says. “Each day that goes by, the grass is going to get drier. We want people to use extreme caution when doing any work outside that’s going to cause sparks, generate heat or create a fire.”
Whalen warns people to closely monitor the outdoor conditions and use common sense to prevent grass fires. Also, he recommends having a fire extinguisher close by in case things get out of hand.
“Any type of spark can ignite a wildfire,” he says. “A lot of area fire departments have already been out battling these grass fires in the last week or so and it’s going to get more dangerous as the week progresses.”
So far, no counties, cities or municipalities within the state have issued burn bans, but Whalen says that could change quickly depending on conditions.
If you should encounter a grass fire, he says not to try and extinguish it yourself, but instead immediately call 9-1-1.
By Brent Wiethorn, KKPR, Kearney