Welcome to June, warm weather is finally here.

Usually this article is talking about being careful with fire and discussing what you need to know to keep you and your family safe. This month I would like talk about what you have done for us.

While I am writing this article, our fire crews have not pulled a line for a fire in over 90 days. I credit this to all of you. You all have made a difference in preventing fires from occurring. This keeps not only you safe but it keeps your community, including the firefighters out of harm's way. I don’t want to jinx us by mentioning our success rate but I am very proud of our city residents for being fire safety conscious. Fires don’t start on their own, they all have a reason for starting. Those reasons can ranges from human carelessness, natural elements or intentionally set.

Accidental fires (excluding natural starts like lightning strikes) do occur, but they usually still have a human factor involved. A few of the areas that we have noticed decreased calls for are:

  • Outside burning. People have been taking note of the dry conditions we are experiencing and are being obeying the burn ban. This is greatly appreciated because we announce when there is a higher risk of fires spreading and the public responds by NOT starting those optional outside fires.
  • Cooking related fires. Normally these are the number one concern for our area. We have had a decrease to date and we thank you being aware of how dangerous your kitchen can be when cooking.
  • Smoking related fires. These fires, especially on decks have decreased. Utilizing proper extinguishment methods and being aware of the capability of cigarettes to start a fire is the first step to preventing them. Being mindful of windy conditions and knowing that cigarette butts do burn when they are piled together. Thank you for taking care and doing your part to prevent these smoking related fires.
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These are just a few safety practices that have helped prevent fires in our area. The data shows that it is working when our citizens take proper precautions. Nobody wants to see a fire destroy property, especially not your own home.

Of course, for the most part material things can be replaced, but why go through the trauma if a little extra care and awareness can prevent it. A small fire can create thick black smoke that can destroy cherished photos and possessions and take away a life in minutes.

Practice fire drills in the home with your family, have working smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors and always be mindful of how fast fires can spread. Again, we would like to thank all of you for taking the necessary precautions to prevent fires from occurring. With your help we can prevent fires and all the damage that they can inflict on people and property.