Saturday, January 20, 2018

High Winds and More Rain Means Fire Danger

April 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 


While recent rains may have improved drought conditions in the South Plains, Slaton Fire Chief Freddie Rainwater said the wet weather has not exactly made his job easier.

“With the good, we take the bad,” Rainwater said. “With the rain, we have a lot of vegetation growth.”

Screen shot 2015-04-16 at 12.14.30 PMOnce the wind picks up, taller weeds and grass dry quickly and create more fuel for fires to spread, he said.

“It’s more fuel for it to take off and go,” he said.

Fire Departments in the South Plains work with the National Weather Service to issue specific warnings, called red flags, to alert residents of impending fire danger, Rainwater said.

“That’s based on weather conditions and humidity, wind speeds, and the amount of vegetation,” he said.

Under red flag warnings, outdoor burning is completely banned in the region.

“In our wind, a small fire can completely get out of hand,” he said.

Even under normal circumstances, drivers should never throw cigarettes from their vehicles, Rainwater said.

“People still smoke and they’re not considerate enough to use an ashtray inside the vehicle,” he said. “They’ll flick it out the window thinking it immediately goes out. It doesn’t.”

Rainwater said residents should always be aware of changing weather conditions and consult local authorities before hosting outdoor events.

“We live in a unique place,” he said. “Vigilance is necessary.”



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