Firefighters in Iowa Park spent the holiday gathered at the fire station, on standby for any calls that may come. The IPVFD usually stages at Explode-O-Rama on the 4th of July. This year, with many events canceled, and the fire danger in the extreme category, they had to change things up.
"We're just enjoying each other's company and waiting to see what happens," said Fire Chief Randy Fulbright. The group brought their families to the fire house and had a barbeque.
A portable water tank was set up as a precaution in case of a large fire, and children splashed around in it to keep cool. The family affair was a way to still spend the holiday having fun, despite a ban on fireworks.
The crews had a relatively slow day. Several medical calls were toned-out and one grass fire along Rogers Road. Within moments of the call, crews were on scene. Power lines had sparked a small blaze in wheat stubble – highlighting the high fire risk. "That fire shouldn't have been half that big but it just explodes on you … If it had been someone's hay patch or someone's grazing pasture we'd probably been halfway across the pasture before we caught it," said Fulbright.
Underneath Old Glory, on the flagpole outside the station was another flag that commanded reverent attention; a red burn ban flag. "Right now were to the extreme that the fire explodes on us. It doesn't just burn, it will explode on us and run across the ground seems like twice as fast as usual," explained Fulbright.
Before the group shared the BBQ meal, a member offered prayer of blessing. Included in the appeal to the Almighty, was a sign of the season. "I pray, Lord, there are no fireworks used today," ask the Chaplain.
Fire crews were pleased at the overall lack of fireworks calls, but remained on stand-by for any that came as the sun went down. "We don't want anybody to get burned, we don't want anybody to get hurt. We don't want somebody's house to get burned up just because somebody had to shoot off a firecracker," said Fulbright.