St. Clair joins counties asking residents to stop outside burning

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL (KTVI) – A burn ban is in effect in St. Clair County, Illinois. Officials say there have been more than 200 brush fires this month alone.

Firefighters in St. Clair County say most of the brush fire calls they’ve responded to this month have been small, but a recent fire in a yard near Belleville threatened an apartment building. It quickly spread when a property owner was burning some branches in his yard.

Officials with St. Clair County Emergency Management issued the ban Sunday. They are asking people to stop burning branches or anything else outside that could start a brush fire.

Firefighters are forced to use valuable resources and put crews in danger when brush fires get out of control.

St. Clair County Emergency Management Director Herb Simmons explains when people burn anything outside, it can get away from you very quickly. The ground may seem wet, but brush is very dryand winds can whip the flames away from you.

The burn ban is in effect until April 1, when they will re-evaluate the situation. People can still use a closed barbeque or fire pit as long as someone is watching.

Last week, brush fires threatened buildings in Lincoln County, Missouri. They have also put a burn ban into effect.