Firefighters Warn Against Sparks Labor Day Weekend

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Although there are chances of rain over the Labor Day weekend, it won't be enough to cut out the dangers of drought conditions. Local fire departments are urging people to be especially careful using equipment that may create sparks.

Earlier this month a very fast-moving brush fire had homeowners living near 47th & Chestnut in Kansas City, Kan., very nervous after flames tore through a neighborhood and caught a fence on fire before firefighters arrived.

It took an hour to put out because of the high winds and the very dry and in some cases very high grass and brush.

Another fire a day or so later on August 8 near 175th and State Line was started by a discarded cigarette and by the time crews put it out it had burned nearly 100 acres.
Jason Rhodes with Overland Park fire says there have been a ban in place since June and no permits are being approved but grilling is still permitted which will be popular for Labor Day.

Since may 41,000 acres and 26 structures have burned statewide..people need to be careful because it's still dangerous.

"It doesn't take much," said Rhodes. "We're seeing plenty of grass fires. Most of them, we believe, discarded cigarettes -- people driving by flicking a cigarette out. We get some around businesses where they'll stand outside a business and snuff it out and put it in the mulch and later we have a fire. It's so dry, it's extremely dry, dangerously dry. We just need people to take extra precautions."

Firefighters are urging everyone to observe their local burn bans.

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