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Water Restrictions Drying Resources for Volunteer Firefighters

<P>Stage 2 water restrictions in Wichita Falls are drying up resources for the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department.</P>

Stage two water restrictions have been in place in Wichita Falls for about a week now but those restrictions aren't just impacting Wichita Falls residents.

They're forcing conservation efforts on people in Electra and Iowa Park since both towns get their water from Wichita Falls.

And as Mechell Dixon reports... the water restrictions are literally drying up resources for volunteer fire fighters in both towns.

While lake levels remain low, Wichita Falls water customers are required to cut back on this precious commodity.

Unfortunately, cutting back is not an option for volunteer firefighters.

In Iowa Park, water hydrants help fire crews battle blazes in town.

But outside of the city limits, volunteer fire departments depend on ponds, lakes and irrigation canals to get their water.

But many of them are all dried up because the area just hasn't gotten enough rain.

So, where will crews get water to battle blazes in outlying areas, like this 500 acre fire last month off Bacon Switch Road ?

Iowa Park's fire chief explains.

Every drop of water that will be used on those fires will come straight out of a city spigot. There's no other water to be had... so what water that we use to put these fires out with this summer is the water that yall might have been using to take a bath in on Christmas," says Chief Randy Fulbright with the Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department.

Chief Fulbright says his crews are currently using hundreds of gallons of city water to fill their tanker truck.

And even though some rain has fallen in the area it has been enough to cause brush to grow and create fuel for future fires but not enough to lift water restrictions.

That's why fire officials are making this important plea that the public take precautions during these dry conditions.

"Please be careful because when we have to come put the fires out that are started... that's just more water we're wasting," says Chief Fulbright.

In Iowa Park... Mechell Dixon... KFDX 3 News.

Chief Fulbright says his volunteer fire crews are also taking precautions to conserve water.

They will not flush water hydrants, test fire hoses and wash their fire trucks to help save water.

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