PIERCE, Neb. -- A northeast Nebraska fire department is raising awareness about how to prevent fires on dry days.

The Pierce Volunteer Fire Department, along with a number of fire departments around northeast Nebraska, has seen an increase in fires caused by dry conditions this summer.

The main reason for these dry conditions includes a lack of rainfall in the area over the last seven months as well as little snowfall over winter. 

Kelli Sindt, a firefighter with the Pierce Volunteer Fire Department, elaborated more on how the lack of rain has affected land around the state. 

"With it being so dry, there is no moisture getting into the crops, the grass, and dry land corn," she said. "It just drys up and shrivels up and unfortunately after an inch of rain sometimes, if we have a day or two of 90-degree weather and 40-mile-an-hour wind, that rain is gone quickly."

Sindt added that there is a multitude of ways that farmers and property owners can be prepared for the possibility of a fire starting. 

While working in a yard or field, it is best to have a fire or water extinguisher nearby or even a shovel or rake to put out a fire if one starts.

Farmers should maintain their equipment as well since the department has seen fires started by farming equipment that isn't in proper shape or due to malfunctions.

There are also a number of things people can do every day to help avoid starting dry fires.

"Don't throw your cigarettes out windows, don't park vehicles in tall dry grass, keep your lawns mowed, keep your property clean and free of a lot of debris," Sindt said. "It makes it a lot easier if a fire does start for us to get to the scene of a fire if everything is cleaned up."

Pierce County along with many other counties in the state is currently under a burn ban.

Sindt also mentioned that following burn bans also helps reduce the potential of starting a fire, and she told News Channel Nebraska how important it is to understand how easy a fire can start in dry conditions.

"As a firefighter, I see how fast these fires can grow and how they can get away from even us as trained firefighters with all the equipment needed to put them out," she said. "I see how quickly they can spread on a dry windy day. They burn so fast and hopefully, people understand that and realize how quickly they can get away."

For more information on how to monitor drought conditions, visit this link.