Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - June 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Help the VFD’s & Wildland Fire Fighters
Houston County Courier - June 2009
CROCKETT – The Texas Forest Service urges the public to do what they can to keep local volunteer firefighters and forest service wildland firefighters safe.
Forest service officials said the best way to do this is not cause a wildfire from debris burning, fireworks, or careless disposal of cigarettes, matches, or barbecue coals.
Houston County and several of the surrounding counties are currently under a burn ban.
“We are currently experiencing abnormally dry conditions for this time of year with no significant improvement forecast through the summer months,” said Texas Forest Service officials.
“It’s starting off dry, and if it follows historical patterns, conditions will only get worse.”
Fighting wildfires is always dangerous; however, these extremely hot, dry conditions add extra obstacles to firefighters’ safety.
The extreme heat and strenuous work can cause a firefighter to quickly succumb to heat exhaustion.
The drier conditions result in increased fire behavior that can allow fires to jump from the ground to the crowns of trees making if more difficult to stop the fire.
On Monday, June 22, crews from several Texas Forest Service District offices responded to the Goose Paddle Fire near Huntsville.
Texas Forest Service officials said it took two days to control the fire that burned 376 acres and sent three Texas Forest Service wildland fire fighters to the emergency room.
Two of them suffered from heat exhaustion.
The third firefighter was overcome by the flames and had to deploy his fire shelter, an aluminum/fiberglass composite tent-like shelter that is a last ditch effort to protect a firefighter from serious injury or even death.
Authorities said luckily, he only suffered minor burns on his ears during the first ever shelter deployment in Texas.