Volunteer Fire Departments Prepare for Heat, Wildfires

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Predicting the unpredictable is a daunting task, but it’s a call fire departments always answer.
 
Lakeside City Volunteer Fire Chief, James Sons says in his 16 years much has changed, like strategy.
 
“The big deal is attack from the black,” Sons said. “Used to, everybody drove through the fire, in the fire or around the fire and just squirted water on it. Now it’s a lot more tactical. You know, get off and walk. Work the fire and put it out.”
 
It’s also important to be prepared.
 
“You go over your trucks, you check the tires, you check your fuel, all of the systems on the truck, your pumps, your hoses, your gear,” Sons said.
 
Sons says recent grants to upgrade equipment have made fighting fires not just easier, but safer too.
 
“[Our equipment was] pretty rough and rugged. A lot of the equipment is newer equipment. It’s safer. Of course when you upgrade a 30 year old truck with a new truck, you’ve upgraded safety tremendously.”
 
And, Sons says help from the community is extremely important.  
 
“Our residents, I know out here in Lakeside City, they’ve learned from wildfires in the past to keep their lawns cut, keeping stuff back from houses so many feet. They’re also smarter about calling in [before] they do something to let everyone know what’s going on.”
 
“I think everybody come to understand that our job is not easy, and if they do their part then it helps us too.”
 
 
Safety Tips to Prevent Brush, Grass and Forest Fires:
  • If you have cigarette or cigar butts never throw them on the ground. 
  • If it’s a windy day, avoid burning at all.
  • Attend all outdoor fires, closely.
  • Do not use gasoline or other flammable liquids on any fire.
  • Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
  • Always comply with any local ordinances or permits.

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