STRATFORD - The current stretch of dry weather in southwestern Connecticut has been a concern for local fire departments, which have seen a large increase in the number of brush fires.

Firefighters say brush fires are taking a toll on their resources despite specialized equipment they have to combat them.

They say the fires start from simple neglect, like throwing cigarettes onto dry vegetation or not properly putting out camp fires.

"This stuff will burn rapidly and quickly, and the immediate release of heat will just spread to everything and it gets out of control quite quickly," says Assistant Chief Steve Alesevich, of the Stratford Fire Department.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag advisory for southwestern Connecticut, meaning that conditions are favorable for brush fires to spread.

Firefighters are warning residents to be careful when lighting anything on fire outdoors or to avoid doing so altogether.