Amarillo Area Prepares For Another Wild Fire Season
Last year was a pretty devastating year for for area Fire Fighters as we had more wild fires/grass fires then we typically see in the past. The hot, dry weather mixed with an average wind speed of over 14mph was all the formula needed to spark the insanity that led to people losing their homes and so much more. Fund raisers were launched all across the city and the American Red Cross responded to help our neighbors in the time of need.
I actually remember the events from last year pretty vividly as we did everything we could to pitch in. There was close to $40,000 raised in donations last year after the string of fires we saw.
It really seemed like every week, there would be a new grass fire to talk about.
There were major losses in residential, farms saw fires on a scale that the Fire Dept was not prepared for, but who could really be prepared for these fires? In my opinion, it’s impossible to be prepared for the amount and size of wild fires we saw last year. But what steps are being taken this year in preparation?
Potter County Fire-Rescue Chief Richard Lake has seen a lot of flames throughout his 25 years with the fire department. His statement says it all. After what they witnessed last year, firefighters all across the Panhandle are gearing up to fight some record-breaking fires. But Lake pointed out nothing can fully prepare them for what they could go up against.
The trucks are fueled. equipment has been replaced and ears are on alert. As soon as the bell goes off, it could lead firefighters to the next monumental inferno.
Knowing that we could face a record breaking year for wild fires, the Fire Dept is basically sitting on stand by, waiting for the next one to spark.
Replaced equipment, fueled up trucks, and everyone on their toes so that basically when the bell rings, they can get right out and start fighting the fires.
But what can we do as citizens to help prevent wild/grass fires?
A few things automatically come to mind.
Like smokers keeping their cigarette butts in the ash tray and not just tossing them out the window of a moving car into the dry grass.
Keeping all trash in cars is actually another good precautionary measure we can all take. Because the less we throw out, the less there is to fuel the fire.
If you own property that could succumb to wild/grass fires, maybe water your yard along the street so the grass isn’t as dry, that way if a lit cigarette does make it’s way to your grass, it will be damp enough to not catch fire.
What else can be done to prevent wild grass fires? Take our survey and tell us what you do or think!