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Record high temperatures recorded last week
Smithville experienced record breaking temperatures last week, with the thermometer at the waste water treatment plant topping 105 degrees on Saturday.According to official readings last week from the City of Smithville, the temperature on June 29 reached 101 degrees, tying the previous record high for the date, set in 1952.On Saturday the mercury shot to a 105-degree reading, topping the previous record high, 102 degrees, again on the same date in 1952.Several Tennessee cities reported record highs over the weekend, with 107 degrees being reported at Lovell Field in Chattanooga on July 1, topping the previous high of 101, set in 1954.Crossville reported a 99-degree reading on July 1, topping the 95-degree mark set in 1954.Nashville topped another record set in 1954, with a 105-degree reading on July 1, topping the old record of 101 degrees.The highest temperature recorded in Tennessee is 113 degrees on July 29 and August 9, 1930 at Perryville.Stifling heat and dangerously dry conditions have prompted state officials to urge citizens to take fire precautions for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is asking the public to refrain from debris burning until significant precipitation is received, and to avoid other activities that could cause fire.“Most areas of the state are experiencing very hot and dry conditions with low humidity,” State Forester Steven Scott said. “While permits are not currently required for open, outdoor burning, as a precaution we’re urging citizens to avoid debris burning until conditions improve.”Burning permits are required by the state Division of Forestry only during official fire season, Oct. 15 through May 15. However, the number of fires statewide has increased since mid-June due to the unusually hot, dry conditions.“Most of the fires have been smaller, accidental grass fires that have been responded to with the help of local and volunteer fire departments, but we also have had some larger, smoldering woods fires that could be dangerous if not contained,” said Scott.Forestry officials say that in addition to escaped debris fires, major causes include sparks from field equipment and vehicles, discarded cigarettes, lightening, campfires, arson and fireworks.