Fire Danger

With the weekend approaching many East Texans are gearing up for the spring clearing of brush and debris. And that chore is often followed with firefighters extinguishing an out of control blaze.

Volunteer firefighters can receive their dispatch orders at anytime, but scanner junkies know this time of year the grassfires pick up in number by mid afternoon. When the blaze really gets bad the Texas Forest Service is called in. Texas Forest Service District Forester John Boyette said, " We've had a lot lately. Nothing really very major fortunately because the winds haven't been very bad, but the atmospheric conditions are so dry right now that it doesn't take very much for a fire to get out of hand." Such as a 200 acre fire reported in Jasper County earlier this week. Or the North Texas fires of last year when property and lives were lost. District fire coordinator Brad Moore just wants people to be extra careful. " A lot of times, the public don't realize how much danger they're putting themselves in, but also the fire departments that are responding."

Continued training is the best defense for firefighters. Fire coordinators were reviewing a power point on the use of bulldozers when fighting fires. Boyette said,  " We're always training. We always have new people coming on board and may not have enough experience, so we always need to keep training. Keep that edge honed."     The training that's going on inside will certainly be utilized outside. Fire coordinators are already planning a training session for volunteer fire departments.

Property owners can take precautions. Don't burn on windy days. Use barrier rows to prevent a fire from spreading. And never leave a fire of any size unattended.