Dry conditions in the Ozarks have fire departments seeing more calls come in. 

That’s the case in Willard. Fire Chief Ken Scott said the lack of rain can cause grass fires to get out of control fast.

“The way the humidity level is, and with the lack of the rain, we’re getting multiple grass fires,” said Scott. Unfortunately, some of it is just not thinking and setting off a brush pile and it spreading for 20, 30 acres.”

The fires, he said, can put a strain on department resources.

“On a day like today, a fire can jump one hundred feet in three seconds,” said Scott. “We’re covering a 74 square mile area. It’s tough right now.”

Recently, the department has been called to put out fires that continue to pop up in the same area.

“We’ve been around the humane society three different times,” said Scott. “It’s going to smoke. It’s going to smolder for several days until we get some rain. We need a two-inch rain and it’s just something we’re monitoring every day.”

He said everyone should enjoy the fall weather and the activities that come with it, but there are risks to keep in mind.

“It’s getting really, really close to crisis mode for lots of animals and outdoor activities,” said Scott.

If you have to burn, he recommends keeping it small and having a water source close by.

It’s recommended to call your fire department and ask for recommendations before burning.