Area fire and county officials are “very concerned” about public safety in the wake of recent 100-degree days – and officials are making preparations to ensure fire losses are “kept to a minimum,” said Gary B. Young, chairman of the Taylor County Rural Fire Committee, in a news release.
Here’s the full news release from Gary B. Young, chairman, Taylor County Rural Fire Committee:
The recent 100-degree days have area fire and county officials “very concerned” about public safety.
County officials, fire departments and the Taylor County Sheriff's Department are making preparations to ensure that fire losses in Taylor County are kept to a minimum.
Taylor County Sheriff Les Bruce has pledged the full support of his department to insure strict enforcement of all laws and ordinances regarding the illegal use of fireworks and the carelessness which so often lead to fire losses.
The Taylor County Precincts are preparing heavy equipment and water transports for possible response to fires.
Other resources which were available during most of the 2011 fire season have moved out of Texas and are unavailable. The Texas Forest Service northwest branch located in Merkel is down to 10 to 12 personnel, below normal staffing level. There is one wild land engine and three dozers currently in Merkel. All of the aircraft used around the state last year are unavailable due to the dozens of large fires in other states.
Local fire departments are urging everyone to reconsider the use of fireworks during these extremely hot and dry conditions. Not only have conditions become extremely dangerous in regard to vegetation, the extremely high temperatures pose a serious threat to the safety of all personnel responding to fire calls. Heat exhaustion and heat strokes are a real possibility in these temperatures. The forecast is for more high temperatures for the next several days.
Remember, fireworks use in these conditions pose a very high risk of starting fires. The use of fireworks is restricted to private property and the permission of the landowner is required. Other restrictions and requirements apply depending on location. Make sure you are familiar with local requirements.
Anyone using fireworks can be held liable for damages to the property of others both civilly and criminally.
We ask for everyone's cooperation in this matter to insure a safe 4th of July holiday