MONSON, Mass. (WWLP) - Another hot, dry day means another day of risk for brush fires. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for all of western Massachusetts, meaning that any brush fires that start could spread quickly under the current weather conditions.
The risk is especially clear in places like Monson; areas that were devastated by the June 1 tornado.
Monson Fire Chief George Robichaud took 22News on a tour of an area off Upper Hampden Road which was hit by the twister. The area still looks like the tornado had hit yesterday.
"The conditions are so dry that if we were to take a shovel and dig down into the ground we're looking at anywhere between eight and ten inches of dryness," Robichaud said.
Robichaud told 22News that putting out small fires like campfires or bonfires the traditional way just doesn't work anymore. In places like near Upper Hampden Road, if you think you put out a fire, with all that flammable debris nearby, you really may not have.
"It's just looking for a place to pop out of the ground, like a small hole a chipmunk hole, and before you know it, the fire's above the ground and it's running," Robichaud said.
Danielle Codiol, who lives nearby, is writing a book about the tornado devastation in Monson called "The Chosen Path". She's deeply concerned about the fire danger.
"I'm afraid if there is a fire, a cigarette butt just thrown into the woods, it's going to catch these houses around," Codiol said."It's definitely a fear for everyone I think."
The last chapters of her book have yet to be written. She is praying that doesn't include a dreaded brush fire during this time of the red flag warning.