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Milder fire season allows Texoma firefighters to prepare for next blaze

Despite cooler temperatures, local firefighters say the threat of a major wildfire is not over.
This year's fire season has been somewhat calmer compared to last year, which is considered by many as one of the worst ever.

This time around, fire crews are getting a much needed break from Mother Nature.

Hayden Hansen, chief of the Wichita East Volunteer Fire Department, says there have been as many fires this year as last but the fires have not been as big.

Hansen says it gives firefighters an opportunity to prepare for the next big one.

During last year's devastating fires, Hansen and his crew worked nonstop to extinguish the out of control blazes.

Hansen says it is a tough job for a volunteer firefighter.

"Some of the guys get pretty worn out and get burned out pretty quickly and we'll go through some guys," Hansen exclaims.

He says things have been a lot quieter during the current fire season.

"It is always good to have a break," Hansen says. "We also like to stay busy so we can keep everyone on top of training.

In addition to the training, Hansen says a milder fire season has allowed crews to make sure their gear and equipment is up and running properly.

Hansen says, "Where we couldn't take them down last year, they worked but not as good as we could've but they worked better then not at all."

"This year we may try to get some of those done and fix were they are up 100 percent," he adds.

Also, Hansen says the rain recorded in parts of Texoma has been a blessing but he fears it may be short-lived.

"I think this is still going to go on through the winter. Just because fires start easier in the summer, they'll still be plenty of fires I think through the winter with this much stuff there is still to burn out there," Hansen exclaims.

Until then, firefighters say they will just be ready for the next blaze.

Hansen says donations have been coming in a little slower compared to previous years.

As a VFD, Hansen says any donation will help.

If you would like to contribute to the Wichita East VFD, contact them at (940)767-5519.

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