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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Sikeston DPS seeing increase in fire calls

Monday, June 27, 2011

(Photo)
Firefighters with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety have been quite busy lately, as hot temperatures and little rain have led to a dry spell. Here, a firefighter works to extinguish a mulch fire at the Rotary Park. Michelle Felter, Staff
SIKESTON -- As wet as it was in Southeast Missouri just weeks ago, it's hard to believe that there is a dry spell.

The small amounts of rainfall, combined with hot weather, have created a recipe for danger when it comes to fires, and the Sikeston of Department Safety has seen a bump in the number of fire calls over the past couple of weeks.

"We were just swamped for awhile, and now it's turned dry," said Sgt. Jim McMillen, public information officer for the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. "I don't think a lot of people realize how dry it is. The little rain we have had helps, but it doesn't take long to really dry out the vegetation at this time of year."

Mulch and field fires have been called in recently, and McMillen noted most of the blazes in the city limits are grass fires.

"With this in mind, we are asking area residents to be cautious and remember some basic fire safety," he said. "Most grass or yard fires occur because of negligence. These grass fires are more dangerous than you might think because fire spreads easily across dried-out yards. Over the years we've had several home fires that began from burning grass."

McMillen pointed out that Bermuda and other types of grass can get really dry "and the fire can just roll across it with no problem."

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