Credit: paulync

Brush fires have been flaring up across the state and here on the SouthCoast.

Dry weather conditions have been viewed as a major factor, and while there has been some rainfall fire officials such as New Bedford Fire Chief Michael Gomes say it hasn't had much of an impact.

As we wait for that rainfall to come Gomes says there are some common steps people can take to reduce the risk of brush fires in the area such as clearing their property of leaves and other debris.

Gomes is also reminding people that while some SouthCoast communities allow leaf burning on certain days New Bedford isn't one of those communities.

"There is no open burning ever in the City of New Bedford," says Gomes.

Gomes also advises people to be careful with how they store the mulch that is often used in gardening and home landscaping projects that take place this time of year.

"If you ever see somebody dig into a pile of mulch you'll notice that it generally steams and there's a lot of heat that's retained in that," says Gomes "basically the mulch is decomposing it also acts as insolation so we do get spontaneous combustion involving mulch on a fairly regular basis."

Gomes also says that most fires have been caused by human interaction such as discarded cigarettes.