Fire Prevention Stressed - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/03/08 - East Texas

Fire Prevention Stressed

by Donna McCollum

Cold fronts often bring strong winds and lower humidity. Combine fire with the dried grass and leaves that we're currently seeing and you have a wildfire. Mahlon Hammeter of the Texas Forest Service said, " The cold snap has frost cured all the fuel, so we got a lot of dead grass out there now. Anytime we get dry, windy weather it's ready to burn. " And when cold weather is followed by mild weather more people are prone to get outdoors increasing the likelihood of accidental fires. Hammeter said,  " We're going to have more people out in the yards to raking leaves, disposing the leaves, burning household trash. It just isn't a good time to get careless while they're doing it. "

The Texas Forest Service is concentrating on fire prevention for several reasons. There are fewer volunteer firefighters and fewer large timber companies. Both provided manpower and equipment when fire spreads quickly. Now partnerships with the state transportation department and other entities are extremely crucial.

City firefighters are also stressing prevention when it comes to house fires. Captain Robert Ford oversees fire prevention for the Nacogdoches Fire Department. He advised,  " Space heaters need space. Make sure you have about three feet around it. Make sure it's not up around curtains or the end of the bed. These little electric space heaters, don't put them in chairs. "

This week a kitchen fire in a nacogdoches apartment complex was quickly put out thanks to a sprinkler system. There may be water damage, but it's well isolated. Chief Keith Kiplinger said,  " The fire sprinkler did its job. It held the fire to the kitchen which was the area of origin and all these other 16 units were saved any damage."

All these methods of fire prevention are important ways to ward off a disaster. Accidental fires can cause expensive damages whether it outdoors or indoors.

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