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Four State fire chief: Stop burning - KOAM TV 7

Four State fire chief: Stop burning

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Fire crews battling dry windy conditions are keeping an eye on areas where grass fires swept through thousands of acres yesterday.  Crews say it's a challenge keeping enough water in the trucks, as well as in the fire fighters.

A fire in Carl Junction takes out more than five acres of land near homes.

With more fires crews are bringing more trucks out to the scenes to makes sure there is never a shortage of water.

Carl Junction was at a fire off Central City Road today - one of 12 they've been to in the past week.

Robert Phillips is a 16-year veteran of the Carl Junction Fire Department and says with the dry conditions and high winds it's easy for fires to spread quickly.

"This one was moving pretty fast and it's pretty dry out so the fire went higher than the trees and stuff and we had to get up in front of that thing and knock it out before it got these homes," says Phillips.

To help crews use grass and brush-fire trucks that hold about 300 gallons of water.  Once empty they're filled by tank trucks which each hold 2,000 gallons of water.

When that water is gone crews are left to find a hydrant.

"You've got to have more water and we've got plenty of vehicles to have and keep our water supply right up close, so you don't have to go a long ways to get to a hydrant," says Phillips.

Another way the crews keep up with the fires, is staying hydrated themselves, something that they can do thanks to METS.  Having METS ambulance crews help by offering cold water fire fighters are less likely to overheat.

"On a rescue truck with a structure fire, we have a refrigerator and water in it, but it's not on the grass truck," says Carl Junction Fire Chief Dale Dunn.  "That gear is very, very hot and I mean very hot, and if you feel yourself getting tired - quit, trade off with someone, I'm on them constantly - 'don't stay out there till you drop.'"

Although crews are quick on the scene, Chief Dunn says he cautions residents not to burn, while temperatures and wind flow are so high.

"People have just got to learn - don't burn," says Dunn.  "It'll rain eventually so save your stuff until it rains."

Chief Dunn says even though there is not a burn barn in Carl Junction residents should wait until after we get rain to burn.

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