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Fire Service issues call for safer practices

This afternoon Station Manager of the National Fire Service, Orin Smith addressed the matter of bush fires, saying that it has been frequent in recent weeks.  This weekend alone Smith says they responded to numerous calls of bush fires across the country; some he says were avoidable.

Orin Smith Station Officer, National Fire Service: “The dry season is a time landowners wait favorably for. They understand that vegetation fires occur more easily in the dry season due to warm winds, high temperature, and low relative humidity. The problem is they practiced reckless unsupervised burning that recklessly endangering the property of others. To the landowners do not burn on high wind conditions, cut the area to be burned, clear and pile in smaller manageable piles. Have buckets or drums of water on hand with sufficient assistance, control the burning and extinguish any remaining files after burning is complete. To homeowners, if you have nylon sieve on your windows, remove them so that airborne ash does not lawn on them and set them ablaze, keep windows closed, maintain a clear cut to ground four feet clearance around the outer perimeter and around the house itself. Keep the lawn cut very low, this will prevent ashes from nearby fires setting them ablaze and reduce the threat of fire to your home. Do not store firewood or other combustible materials against the house, keep gasoline and other combustibles away from the house. If we practice responsible burning and responsible maintenance of the property it will reduce a lot of the nuisance fires that have been occurring recently.”

One of the frequent complaints when bush fires occur is the lack of resources or the time it takes firemen to respond.  According to Smith, there is already a strain on their limited resources when the fires occur naturally and even more so when it is intentionally ignited.

Orin Smith Station Officer, National Fire Service: “We can’t be everywhere at the same time. For the city, we have two trucks and one in Ladyville. The Ladyville unit is presently undergoing maintenance. The unit there is a smaller unit with an even smaller tank capacity. For assistance of the many bushfires there, it will take some time before a city unit is dispatched and reaches that location as was the case over the weekend. I implore that we practice responsible burning and maintenance of our properties, particularly within rural and countryside areas.

The National Fire Service cautions residents in dry and bushy areas to be alert especially during the dry season