DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Burn bans are in effect throughout the Mid-South. In DeSoto County, every firefighter is being asked to stay close to their station.
Emergency management crews call the weather a serious threat. The county's burn ban is in place for the next month, and firefighters are being especially vigilant through the holiday.
DeSoto is averaging three fires a day. The Emergency Management Agency says it only takes a spark or a cigarette to ignite a flame the wind can carry for miles. With the Fourth of July close, they're worried about fireworks.
"Even though it looks real pretty outside, it will burn just as fast as hay," says DeSoto EMA Director Bobby Storey. Instead of trees and plants, Storey sees fuel.
"Everybody's on pins and needles and high alert," he tells abc24.com. "Anytime a grass fire comes in, it's a true emergency because of the amount of time it will take for it to spread."
Firefighters were put to the test Thursday afternoon, battling miles of grass fires along Interstate 55.
"We're not taking it lightly," Storey says. "What today, two or three fire departments could have taken care of, I think we called in five or six."
The intense heat is compounding an already difficult job. Storey's worried it could get worse over the weekend, because people are setting off fireworks.
"Business has been good, on and off, but really consistent," says Kendall Harvey, who sells fireworks in Southaven.
"It's normally really big for us, we invite the family over," says customer Tia Hightower. "The kids love the colors. They love the interaction."
Storey wants people to remember when lighting fireworks, you're playing with fire.
"I know I'm not going to stop them. Just please use caution when out there doing this because it's very dangerous right now. Your mulch is dry and just one spark started against side of your house, before you know it your house is on fire."
He says keep water close and be ready to act. "If you see a small fire, douse it, but go ahead and call 911. Let us check it out. We don't want it to spread and get out of control."
The best thing to do? Take your family to see fireworks at one of the city's shows. Storey says fire departments are on standby for those and they wet the grass beforehand as a precaution.