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Grass Fires on the Rise in Daviess County

Black grass, a charred tree, and bits of burnt paper.
Black grass, a charred tree, and bits of burnt paper.

Not your typical sings of spring, but definitely signs of a recent grass fire.

"It started burning really good and then it took off, I mean it just started burning everything and the next thing I know I hear fire trucks," Teresa Ault said.

The blaze started just steps from Ault's house.

She didn't want to show her face on camera, but says her neighbors were burning trash in windy conditions and should've known better.

"You can see that the grass is dry, I mean you don't burn when the grass is dry and you don't burn when the grass is dry and it's windy, so that's two things right there you don't do and he did both," Ault said.

Washington township fire chief Tony Wichman tells NBC 2 he's heard that story a lot lately.

He's counted close to ten grass fires in Daviess County just in the last week.

He doesn't expect that number to drop anytime soon.

"With the wind blowing the way it is today and the nice day it is, people have cabin fever and they're out burning things," Wichman said. 

What's behind the recent up-tick though?

"With the hard freeze and the hard weather everything's a lot browner than it usually is, and we're not short on rain this year," Wichman said. 

Now officials are asking residents to cut back on their burning until the grass is a bit greener and the wind is bit calmer.

"We've asked them to save until there's not a windy day if they're going to burn like sticks, brush, and branches and the legal fire pits we're asking them to hold back too," Wichman said.

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