Thursday, April 02, 2015

Fire season is upon us; fire dangers are higher in rural and remote areas with less access to water

Springtime means fire season is heating up, and it might be a good time to alert readers about the dangers of uncontrolled burns and the struggles some fire department's have fighting fires in rural and remote areas. This was the case on Tuesday outside Sioux City, Iowa, where local firefighters were unable to save a house and home business ravaged by a fire after an illegal burn got out of control and burned 30 acres of land, Nick Hytrek reports for the Sioux City Journal (Journal photo by Jim Lee: Tuesday's fire)

Sioux City Fire Rescue Chief Tom Everett said that "fewer fire hydrants and low water pressure make it harder to get enough water to extinguish a fire, especially a fast-moving grass fire," Hytrek writes. Everett told reporters, "That's always a problem when fighting a grass fire like that."

The fire started after a resident was burning garden waste without a permit, Hytrek writes. The closest fire hydrant was about a mile away, forcing emergency responders to call in tanker trucks. Everett said, according to city zoning ordinances, the location of the fire hydrant was in compliance with rules. Everett also said fire hydrants in rural areas are farther apart or are on dead-end lines, which means there's often lower water pressure. (Read more)

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