City of Lubbock Begins New Campaign to Prevent Wildfire Tragedies - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


City of Lubbock Begins New Campaign to Prevent Wildfire Tragedies

Stories of lost homes and lost lives are something Lubbock officials are trying to avoid. On Tuesday, Lubbock Fire Chief Steve Hailey announced on NewsChannel 11 that the city has started a campaign called, "You are our first line of defense." NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel spoke with fire officials to explain what you can do to help in preventing fire tragedies here in Lubbock.

Lubbock fire officials say that with the wind, flames can grow up to 40 feet and travel faster than the wind can blow. That's the reason they've started a new campaign informing people of the potential dangers wildfires can bring to their neighborhoods and homes. Mark Ethridge from the Lubbock Fire Department says, "We want to take this opportunity to make people aware they are our first line of defense." Radio and TV ads, portraying that same message, will hit the air waves as fire officials let residents know that dangerous wildfires are a real threat to Lubbock. "We haven't had a lot of rain, but we always have these kind of fuels, dry grasses, trees, brush, every year. It's very dangerous right now."

Lubbock Launches Fire Safety Campaign
"You're our first line of defense"... that's the message the Lubbock Fire Department is sending in an effort to reduce the risk of a major grass fire here in the city.

So what makes this year so much more dangerous than any other year? Ethridge says it's the usual dry-windy weather, combined with an unknowing public. "A lot of fires all have the potential to grow into something like you saw in Oklahoma City a couple days ago."

Fire officials hope people listen to their campaign message and realize we all have a personal responsibility to keep our city safe from fires. "Don't do anything crazy, don't burn outside at all, control fires you do have, cook in a barbecue grill, people in neighborhoods make the difference."

Wildfire Prevention Tips
Here are some helpful tips to follow when visiting areas where fires can ignite.

One way you can make a difference during this very dry fire season is to protect your home. Fire fighters suggest you remove all debris from your yard, your roof and your gutters, that includes cutting grass and raking leaves. Also, you'll want to move all fire wood or woodpiles at least 30 feet from your home. And last, if you have any gas, chemicals, or oil, you'll want to store those safely.

New Mexico Fire Victims Return to Ash Instead of Homes
In New Mexico, fire fighters are watching for hot spots after destructive fires there. Four blazes scorched more than 53 thousand acres and burned eleven homes and two businesses in Southeastern New Mexico this weekend. Just more than 100 miles southwest of Lubbock, residents in Hobbs, New Mexico are returning to their homes only to find ashes. Five hundred people were evacuated.

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