NORWALK - Fire officials warned the public Monday of the increased danger for brush fires this week.

They say the recent dry weather has dried out leaves and other debris in southwestern Connecticut.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says fires are common from mid-March through May if wind picks up and dries things out.

Norwalk fire officials recommend keeping any dry material away from homes and to be careful about throwing any type of smoking materials out of car windows.

"People don't think about it. They think it's just going to go out when it rolls out the window and goes into the gutter and kind of go out," says Deputy Chief Albert Bassett, of the Norwalk Fire Department. "It doesn't. It finds a home, a little more wind gets it going."

The National Weather Service issued a fire weather watch for southwestern Connecticut Monday.