It’s dangerously dry out there
Firemen from more than 20 departments, including Imperial’s, spent hundreds of hours last week battling a major grass fire near Lake McConaughy, north of Ogallala. The fire that raced across hundreds of acres also destroyed 17 structures, seven being homes. Three firefighters suffered injuries.
It looks like human activity, not lightning or some other uncontrollable occurrence, was to blame.
It’s no big secret it’s dry out there. Just ask any of our local volunteer firefighters. That means extra caution is in order.
Driving in the rural areas, where grass and weeds can be very high, or working around the dry areas, should be done with great care right now. Fire Chief Doug Mitchell said he believes it’s getting close to that very dry year in 2012. He and most of our local firefighters know that personally after a series of grass fires in the area over several weeks.
Since the first of February, Imperial has received just .10 of an inch of moisture. For all of 2017 so far, just over an inch has been recorded.
Not everyone may realize there is a permanent open burning ban in effect throughout Nebraska. That means no burning without a fire department-issued permit. Due to the current dryness, Fire Chief Mitchell said no permits are being issued right now.
We’re entering a season when the weather can become volatile very quickly. Next week is also Severe Weather Awareness Week, and around here, that usually means more wind.
We are all busy with spring here. It’s a good idea to keep safety around the very dry conditions at the top of the list.