Flames Spark Fireworks Ban

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All this dry, hot weather is fueling grass fires in the area keeping firefighters busy protecting homes. Johnson and Scott Counties are not only under a burn ban, but also a firework ban.

Firefighters say it only took minutes for a flame that sparked near the interstate to spread more than 70 acres near Clarksville Sunday. With no rain in the near future, Johnson County Emergency Management Director Josh Johnston says he anticipates more fires to fight.

Dry conditions are keeping firefighters on their toes.

"We've got crews out today that are still patrolling the area, still checking for fires," said Johnston.

Johnston says 70 to 100 acres of land burned Sunday after an overheated car sparked a flame in the grass by the interstate.  It crept close to Angela Westbrook’s home. Some hot spots still burn Monday.

"You can hear the woods back there,” said Westbrook, “The trees are still falling."

The fire’s path was heading to Westbrook’s backyard; however, crews were able to contain it before any homes were damaged.

"But still too close for comfort," said Westbrook.

Johnston says some fires are igniting from hay baling equipment and even lawn mowers.

"It doesn't take much,” said Johnston. “It just takes one spark, and that one spark is why today our county judge issued the executive order prohibiting any fireworks discharged in the unincorporated areas in the county."

With dry grass fueling fires that means now, it's illegal to shoot off fireworks in rural parts Johnson County.

"Just some random little spark caused this, so I think it's a very good idea to not be doing fireworks this year," said Westbrook.

And while no homes were damaged Sunday, Johnston says they may not be so lucky in the future if fireworks are allowed.

"When it's this dry, it's just too dangerous,” said Johnston. “It's too much of a risk."

Scott County is also banning fireworks due to the extreme burn ban. You can be fined if caught shooting fireworks. Scott County has also cancelled their annual fireworks show.