A fire lit up part of a field near Husker Highway and Alda Road in rural Hall County Monday afternoon. It's just one example of how weather conditions are prime for grass fires right now.
"We've had a lot of low humidity, long periods without any rain so that the material out there that will burn is extremely dry," says Chuck Hoffman, Chief of the Grand Island Rural Fire Department.
It's National Fire Prevention Week, and fire safety is all the more important during this drought-ridden year. The National Weather Service currently lists central Nebraska as under extreme fire danger.
Fire experts say this means farmers harvesting should be careful, as should homeowners mowing the lawn.
"Anytime you're operating heavy machinery, regardless of what kind it is, there are probabilities that a spark coming from that machinery can start a fire," Hoffman says.
And there is potential danger inside the house as well.
"What we'd really like is for people to become aware of the fire danger we have not only in wild land fire, but around their homes," adds Hoffman.
As the weather gets cooler, experts say heaters and fireplaces become big concerns. Most portable heaters nowadays do have some sort of safety protection, but there are still some precautions that users can take to prevent fires.
"Make sure that your heaters or your units are away from curtains and away from the blankets," says Mandy Loftus of the Grand Island Home Depot.
Experts also warn people to avoid overloading their circuits, which could cause electrical shorts and spark a fire. And when it comes to fireplaces, experts say cleaning is the key.
"For the real fireplaces is that the flues are cleaned out, because if not, that can cause a flame or a fire to start in your chimney," says Loftus.
The key message fire officials want to get to residents is to be aware and prevent.