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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Dry fall weather could lead to vegetation fires

Where you park your car could lead to a fire as leaves fall from trees.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The summer has proven to be a dry one. Patches of brown can be seen from place to place. And this is a concern for Columbus firefighters.  

"When the grass is crunchy when your walking on it,  It's pretty brittle its going to light on fire quick," says Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin.

Firefighters have seen their run this summer on accidental fires on dry ground. "One of the biggest causes of the mulch fires is discarded cigarettes," says Martin.

But now that cooler weather is starting to set in, many will start using fire pits. And those burning embers could turn into a disaster. "If the timing works out that they initiate or no one is there to see it, or smell it, they can get out of hand and it catches the building on fire," Martin says.

That's why Columbus firefighters want to remind people to be careful as we head into fall. September and October typically prove to be dangerous months when it comes to vegetation fires. That's because materials like leaves are on the ground and dry up. For those communities where piles of leaves can be placed on the curb, Martin says, "if you've been driving your car awhile, and you pull over the curb on top of that pile of leaves and it's dry, you may not have a car when you come back out of the house."

Bottom line: Be aware of where you park, be aware of the dry ground, and most importantly, make sure whatever materials are landing on the ground are wet or cold to the touch so a fire doesn't start unexpectedly.