The Farmington Fire Department has been busy lately.
There's only been one major fire in recent months. That's the good news. But things could have been much worse. Farmington firefighters have been called to at least 10 grass or brush fires in the last two weeks. All of the fires were controlled quickly and without any significant difficulty or damage, but it won't always be that way. Grass fires can be dangerous for firefighters, who have to walk on uneven ground. And when conditions get windy, as they were Tuesday, even a small fire can grow quickly.
Most of the brush fires that have sprung up this month were easily preventable. A few were likely the result of lit cigarettes tossed from moving cars. That's a bad idea in any conditions.
At least Some were the result recreational fires that got out of control. Firefighters were called to one Empire Township home twice in a matter of days for that reason. Those homeowners were ticketed.
The penalty was well deserved. Firefighters had told the homeowners after the first fire that they shouldn't burn anything on their property. But when crews showed up to fight the Wednesday afternoon fire they found several bonfires burning. One of those fires got out of control, and it cost the couple a shed in addition to their fine.
Conditions are very dry right now. According to one report, the Twin Cities area is three inches behind where it should be on rainfall. One rainy Sunday isn't going to change that.
It doesn't take much to start a fire these days. And it doesn't take much for that fire to get out of control.
Keep that in mind then next time you're thinking about lighting up a bonfire.