Every day the Quad City area goes without rain the threat of fire intensifies.
East Moline is one of the latest to initiate a ban on burning.
But, the bans already blanket counties and cities on both sides of the river.
In Iowa, Scott, Jackson, Louisa and Muscatine counties have bans in effect and in Illinois, Kewanee, Carbon Cliff and Silvis are all on the “ban list.”
News of a burn ban enacted Monday in East Moline didn’t stop one guy from burning grass clippings the next day.
Normally, the city is allowed to burn Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 8-5 p-m.
But, with the ground so dry, it could be hazardous.
“We haven’t had any rain, seems like in months and for the foreseeable future it doesn’t look like we’re going to get anymore,” said Capt. Gary Robertson, with the East Moline Fire Dept.
East Moline fire crews showed us, in a controlled setting, just how fast a fire can spread.
We got a real life look minutes later when the department was called out to a grass fire that got dangerously close to an apartment.
“I didn’t know it was on fire until he told me,” said Etna Weaver.
Turns out, it was likely a discarded cigarette that had scorched the ground.
Maintenance put the fire out with buckets of water.
But, crews still had to clean it up- a tough job on a hot day.
“It’s hard for people to stay hydrated, just wearing their everyday clothes, let alone the gear we have to wear.”
The fine if you’re caught violating the burn ban in East Moline is $100.
For a look at counties with burn bans, go to www.wqad.com Click on the weather tab, then look for Drought 2012.