Volunteer Fire Departments Prepare for Fire Weather Danger

Lubbock is in critical fire danger today. The county is under a red flag warning until this evening. KLBK's Michaela MacDonald spoke with the West Carlisle Volunteer Fire Department about how they prepare for fire season.
By Michaela MacDonald
mmacdonald@klbk13.tv

LUBBOCK, TX --Dry fuels, high temperatures and low humidity mean fire danger in Lubbock County is high.

"Well the danger has been increasing and as fire agencies throughout the county and with our emergency management coordinator and even the counties surrounding us, we watch that potential danger and we try to ramp up for that and prepare for that," said West Carlisle Fire Chief Tim Smith.

Preparations Smith says include readying their brush trucks and connecting with other volunteer fire departments.

Smith says in these dry conditions, grass can catch fire easily and quickly spread.

"Here at West Carlisle had a couple runs this weekend, little grassfires. Its going to get worse it really is. There is going to be an increase in grassfires as homeowners get out, start cleaning up, start doing a little outdoor burning," he said.

That outdoor burning is forbidden on red flag days like Tuesday. Smith says to be smart when using any sort of flame outdoors. 

"The biggest rule we ask is use common sense. If it sounds like a bad idea it probably is, and again summon the fire department early to make sure that we get started that way," said Smith.

Smith says for his 23 unpaid volunteers, firefighting is a labor of love.

"All of my folks have other jobs as well. And with the help of some very very generous employers they allow some of those guys to leave work and help us to fight the fire," said Smith. "Its a sense of community service that's kind of why we do it, you know I got into it 25 years ago after a fire at my place and said well it sounds like a pretty good idea. Its what we should be dong, its our way of giving back and hopefully our reward will come later."

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