Fire departments in our region have already been busy this spring putting out grass fires.

Fire chiefs CTV News spoke with say tall dead grass and strong wind gusts are the perfect combination for grass fires.

There’s widespread damage at a Christmas tree farm in Dufferin County after a big grass fire ripped through more than 50 acres Monday afternoon.

Mulmur-Melancthon Fire Chief Jim Clayton says it started as a controlled fire. He says a neighbour had a permit and started the fire, and had a water source nearby. However, it got out of control when the wind picked up and then burned dozens of acres of trees and grass at a farm near Honeywood.

Today marked the first time Fred Somerville walked his property after a fire ripped through dozens of acres and burned thousands of trees.

“It's pretty devastating and it just shows you what a little grass fire can do when it gets out control,” he says.

The field is scorched and thousands of trees ready to be harvested this year have burned.

“We probably lost 7,000 10,000 trees, and it’s taken nine years to get here,” he says.

The fire happened yesterday afternoon when a neighbour was burning trash. The fire flared out of control and spread across nearly 50 acres. The fire department says the person had the proper burn permits but the combination of dry grass, trees and strong wind gusts quickly spread the fire.

“She was burning some paper and a gust of wind came up and blew the paper into the grass. It just took off on her very quickly and she couldn't control it,” says Clayton.

Despite a damp spring, this was the second grass fire his department has responded to, and he’s concerned there will be many more.

“We have a lot of dead grass,” he says. “The land is still moist but the grass burns very quickly and the rain we do get, it dries out very quickly.”

From Mulmur to Stayner, fields are dry everywhere and even the rain today isn't helping.

Roree Payment is Clearview’s deputy fire chief and says even if the ground appears wet, the dry grass is so high it won't make a difference.

“All the dead grass sits up above that moisture level and you could get a very substantial fire going across this field here that the water won't affect it all,” he says. “Realistically it can take a matter of seconds driven by the wind.”

He adds, “We've had wet evenings but the surface of the grass has dried out very quickly. With the wind conditions when a grass fire starts it goes right across the surface and will continue on.”

Towns are issuing permits for burning and across the region right now no burn bans are in place except for the City of Kawartha Lakes. With the extremely dry conditions local fire departments are asking people to hold off on any burning and wait for a few more days of rain.

Back at the Christmas tree farm near Honeywood, it will be some time before the true extent of damage is known.

“We have to wait for the trees to grow there may be more damage from scorching that we're not aware of it,” says Somerville.

The message for now from fire departments is to stockpile your waste and if you insist on a controlled burn, make sure you're not near any trees or shrubs, make sure there's no wind, and have a water source like a garden hose nearby just in case it starts to flare out of control.