Grass Fires Up, CCFD Say

Fire training photo from CCFD gallery.

The Campbell County Fire Department (CCFD) has been staying busy.

After a couple of unseasonably wet years, this summer is shaping up to be more on par with typical fire seasons, according to CCFD Division Chief Dale Izatt, particularly grass fires.

“The previous two years were wetter than normal, so we had fewer fires,” he said. “This year things are closer to normal.”

On Tuesday alone, the department responded to five separate fires between 6 a.m. and midnight.

Some of these fires were small, like a one-tenth-of-an-acre fire on Adon Road that CCFD guesstimates was probably started by a lightning strike. Others were larger and more potentially destructive such as the approximately 60-acre grass fire on Napier Road that CCFD extinguished alongside backup from the Bureau of Land Management.

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“It’s hot and dry and the conditions are right for grass fires,” Izatt said.

Izatt added grass and woodlands fires are not the most common calls the department responds to, but in the summer months they definitely increase.

“We respond to medical calls as well as fire calls, and we are the county’s rescue service for automobile accidents,” he noted.

He estimates that about 45% of the department’s responses are for medical aid, with the remainder a mix of fire and rescue calls.

Right now, however, fires are keeping them hopping.

“The county is under a burn restriction right now, which went into effect July 8,” Izatt said. “We have responded to some fires that resulted when people didn’t know about the restrictions.”

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As such, CCFD is asking people to adhere to the burn ordinance.

“If there’s something that can wait to burn until the winter, please wait,” he said.

Izatt says the department is currently accepting applications for part-time firefighters.

Applications will be accepted between July 1 and Sept. 30 and can be picked up at Station 1 on Rohan Drive.