Dry conditions causing problems in the Valley - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Dry conditions causing problems in the Valley

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

It's been a long, hot summer, and while hit or miss showers are in the forecast this week, that's not stopping the lingering drought in the Valley from causing some problems.

It doesn't take much. Fire crews say it was likely the flip of a cigarette coupled with extremely dry conditions that sparked a brush fire along the side of Interstate 680.

“A small cigarette in dry bush can cause a brush fire the size of a football field in a matter of minutes," said Barry Finley, Youngstown Fire Captain.

The flames were extinguished quickly, which was good news for several homes nearby.

But fire crews say if these dry conditions continue more and more brush fires may be popping up.

“A small ember can catch a whole bunch of stuff on fire,” Finley said. “An ember can land on your roof, and you won't even notice your house is on fire unless someone bangs on your door and lets you know that your house is on fire.”

The dry conditions are also taking a toll on farmers across the Valley.

At Molnar Farms in Poland, they've struggled to get enough water to their corn and veggie crops.

“Our sweet corn down the road, the pond there isn't quite as big, so we've drained the water down. There's not a lot left so we're buying water if we don't get a good rain here,” said Rick Molnar.

Summer rains that have rolled through seem to have left some areas of the Valley better off than others.

In Canfield, one farmer says an inch a week through October and his crops should fair pretty well.

“I think we'll be better than last year, but we aren't at our full potential,” said Wayne Greier.

At this point, rainfall totals are about three inches below normal since June 1.

Many hope Mother Nature will reverse course and bring us some much needed rain as we begin the transition of summer into fall.

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