Fire Dangers can be Prevented...
The devastating Double Diamond fire in Hutchinson County has devoured 2,583 acres and 156 structures. Firefighters have the blaze 75% contained, but the elements are working against them.
The same elements that feed the panhandle fire, are ever present in Gaines County. A three year drought, high South Plains winds, and constant activity, is more than enough to begin a disaster.
Gaines County Officials have decided to not enforce a burn-ban, at this time, but strict guidelines still need to be followed.
Rules of fire prevention for a home or grass fires, are:
Check smoke alarms monthly.
Design escape routes from every room, in the home, two escapes from each room is recommended.
Have the chimney inspected and cleaned, annually.
Prune tree branches and shrubbery away from barbecue grills, electrical lines and any other source of heat.
Be vigilant when barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended.
Plan ahead, know what valuables you need to transport, if a fire occurs.
Do NOT throw cigarette or cigar butts on the ground or out of the vehicle, even if they are believed to be extinguished.
Avoid burning trash and yard waste, if at all possible.
Do not park vehicles on grass of brush of any type.
If any risks must be taken, respect a minimum of a 10 foot barrier, between the chance of fire, and any vulnerable area.
ALWAYS keep a shovel, a bucket of water or fire extinguisher handy, at any out-door events.
As many as 400 people, in the Fritch area have been evacuated. With smart choices and hyper vigilance, this wont happen, to our homes.
85 counties in Texas are in an active burn-ban, and the danger is real. Gaines County Officials not implementing one, at this time, does not mean a fire can't happen; it means that the local officials trust the good citizens of Seminole, Seagaves and Loop to protect themselves and their neighbors.