There are new fire concerns despite the recent rainfall. Texoma is heading into the driest part of the year and there may be new danger. Especially with burn bans in several Texas counties lifted just Wednesday.
Newschannel 6 crews met with the Henrietta Volunteer Fire Chief to learn more about these concerns. We are told it could be a matter of days before the fire danger is high again.
Fire chief Mike Roberts says despite the rain it only takes a few days of dry windy weather to bring fire danger up again. He says people might be fooled by the green grass that is popping up everywhere. Chief Roberts says there is so much dry vegetation still around a fire will burn right through all that green grass.
Volunteer fire departments say as we enter the dry winter months wind and dry land will be the two main ingredients to really fuel a fire.
Chief Roberts comments, "If the wind does not blow 20 to 25 miles and hour we can actually get relief from the fire. If it dries up then we're going to be in the same predicament we were in this summer."
And that is because all the dry vegetation that was consumed by the summer drought still lingers and poses as a major threat. Roberts says, "The green grass can be on the bottom coming up the dry grass on the top and it will burn just as fast. Either way if the wind is blowing it builds up more fuel."
Henrietta VFD says its team is getting the trucks ready. And despite the few inches of rain fall they are preparing to have equipment in tip top shape. "We've been spending a lot of money this week repairing our trucks. That cost a lot of money but that's the only time we get to fix them when it rains."
But Chief Roberts says preparation does not come cheap. By next week he estimates to have spent over $9,000 just on repairs alone, which cuts deep into their already dwindling pocket books. "We do it all at one time so we don't have the donations coming in at once to pay for it. We just kind of have to skimp around and do it."
Chief Roberts says they will be ready no matter what and he is praying for more rain.
Henrietta Fire Chief Roberts says during the winter months he sees most fires are started by outdoor burning. He urges everyone to be extra careful even if the ground is wet.
The Henrietta VFD tells Newschannel 6 if you do decide to burn outside on your property make sure you plow around the area first and never leave it unattended.