The downside of our record-breaking spring warmth and dry weather this week has been an epidemic of wildfires, but Madison County Sheriff Paul Welch doesn’t think they’re all Nature’s doing. Firefighters were called to two Madison County fires Monday, a couple more Tuesday, three on Wednesday and several in neighboring counties…all of suspicious origin.He says they’d like it to stop because they’re pulling volunteers away from their normal jobs and have spent till nine at night putting fires out. Sheriff Welch says conditions are right for any fire to get out of control quickly.The spark takes off fast, and he says most of the fires have been in CRP land that’s been set aside for wildlife and not cultivated in some time, so there’s plenty of dry vegetation to catch fire cast. Welch adds there’s a lot of timber in southern Madison county, and the rolling hills make it tough to get to wildfire locations. Tips from the public could end some of the fires:He says you can tell officials about suspicious vehicles stopped alongside a road, or someone seen driving away from a small fire that’s just started — Welch says it’s as easy as jotting down a plate number and telling your local sheriff. If weekend rains arrive as forecast, some of the burning bans could be lifted.
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