Increased potential for fire has firefighters on high alert

Increased potential for fire has firefighters on high alert »Play Video
Let's call it the triple-threat facing our local firefighters.
First they've got the 100-degree temps, which of course has cooked the brush into a potential tinderbox and then you throw fireworks into the mix.
None of our firefighters are sleeping soundly right now.
They've got to respond a moment's notice, and that notice runs 24-7.

"It's always an unknown, you never know exactly what you're going to get when you get to the scene."

Lt. David Stark explained that even after years as a firefighter every call he is sent out on is different.

"On the way to the fire we're gathering all the information that we can from the dispatch, trying to anticipate what the needs are going to be, what future resources we're going to need," said Lt. Stark.

But its never a solo effort, his team at Fire Station 1 always has each other's back when entering dangerous situations.

"We keep an eye on each other to make sure there's no signs of heat stress or anything that a crew member would be exhibiting," said Lt. Stark.

And the extreme heat only makes matters worse. Stark explains that the firefighters prepare themselves for battling fire in extreme temperatures by staying in shape and drinking lots of water.

And with the 4th of July just around the corner, firefighters all over the area are prepared for an increase in fires. Although fireworks are illegal in most parts of the county, they still manage to make their way into the hands of local residents.

After speaking with Yakima County Fire District 5, I learned that last year in the 24 hour period of July 4th, they received a total of 35 alarms. 25 for fires and 10 for medical calls.

And with the temps hovering at a hundred or above for most of the afternoon, Lt. Stark says he can't stress it enough, stay hydrated and avoid prolonged exposure to the heat.