Record High Temps And Drought Put Firefighters On High Alert

Posted at 9:06 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 23:03:53-04

Several mid-state counties and cities are under burn bans as Nashville shatters high temperature records. Tuesday the city saw a brief 88 degree high - the warmest temperature ever recorded. The previous record was 85 degrees.

Warmth coupled with a lack of rain means fires can easily get out of control.

"It can happen very quickly," said Murfreesboro Fire Marshal Carl Peas. "Just a simple cigarette out a car door into a median can catch the median on fire. Even if we get there in three minutes, four minutes, it can burn up an acre, two acres, even more."

On Sunday, Murfreesboro firefighters battled a field fire that started when an electrical line snapped.

"The power wasn't off, so it shocked the field and caught on fire," said Kristina Scott, who lives nearby.

Peas said rain often prevents similar fires from rapidly spreading. Drought pushed him to issue a burn ban for all of Murfreesboro.

"We lifted what we call a recreational burn ban, as long as it's in a designed pit," Peas said. "Just open ground fires we did not allow, bonfires we did not allow. We still have a ban on bonfires and commercial burning."

Other areas under similar bans include Rutherford County, Clarksville, and Mount Juliet.