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Central Texas firefighters working hard to keep wildfires at bay

Posted at 3:37 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 20:25:20-04

COPPERAS COVE, Texas — It’s no secret that Central Texas has been experiencing extreme departures and drought this summer and that has fire departments busy battling multiple wildfires.

Right now, fast-spreading wildfires just keep coming and it’s taking everything firefighters have just to keep them at bay.

”We are in the beginning of the normal time of year for our fire season to really be hitting it hard and we’ve been battling this for months and it’s just getting worse because we don’t have any rain,” said Gary Young, deputy fire chief of the Copperas Cove Fire Department.

In fact, according to 25 news meteorologist Josh Johns, we are seeing dangerously low rainfall this year.

”This year, we’ve only picked up under nine inches," said Josh Johns, 25 News Meteorologist. "Somewhere between eight and nine inches, closer to around 8.8 inches. That’s closer to 13-inches below where we should be this time of year. What's scary is that the spring is our heaviest rainfall season. So, we’ve already missed the lion's share of rainfall for this year."

Now firefighters are not only battling wildfire after wildfire, but they are also doing it in dangerously high temperatures.

”It is zapping the fluids out of our bodies," said Young. "We're breathing it out, we’re sweating it out, and it’s drying off quickly. So, what that does is takes an individual and really takes them to a far extreme in their level of hydration ahead of time."

Even though they have fire gear on, it's not much help. That’s why they are doing all they can to stay hydrated.

”Do all we can to emphasize to our staff to hydrate before the call, hydrate during the call, and hydrate after the call but we put a big emphasis on hydrating ahead of the call,” said Young.

All to withstand the extreme temperatures that aren’t going anywhere for a while.

The biggest concern right now is that if multiple wildfires start, they won’t have enough personnel to respond quickly enough to keep them from spreading.