Fire danger ratings across Simcoe County have been creeping into the red after days of hot, dry weather.

In Tiny Township, conditions have now tipped into the extreme.

Fire Chief Ray Miller said the forest floor is dry even below the surface.

"When the duff layer is dried out, it's an extreme hazard," Miller said. "Flames can travel through that duff, it continues to burn, and can pop up anyplace," he added.

When the danger rating is extreme, a total fire ban comes into effect, and that means all fires, including cooking outdoors, unless it's an approved barbeque appliance.

With much of Tiny Township forested, the fire chief isn't taking any chances.

"People could be having an innocent backyard barbeque or a fire when it travels to the wildland and gets out of control in a hurry," he said.

Even a carelessly discarded cigarette butt can easily and quickly ignite a large fire.

Most municipalities have daytime burning restrictions in effect, but the exact rules can vary from one location to another, along with the fire danger rating.