Firefighters respond to higher number of fires compared to last January

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:24-04

Waco firefighters responded to a higher number of fires this month compared to last January. 

Thus far, there have been at least 31 structure fires in Waco, which is more than double than the 14 structure fires firefighters responded to in 2017.

"The winter weather is causing more of our home, heat-related fires or heating equipment fires, especially space heaters and sometimes unconventional ways of heating a home," Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum said.

The number of grass fires also increased from 7 to at least 17 from January of 2017 compared to this month. 

"We haven't had much rain. Vegetation is very dry so it's very easy to start a fire," Tatum said. "The fires that would be small because of low humidity and high winds are causing fires to move really fast."

The Lacy Lakeview and Bellmead Fire departments also told Central Texas News Now, firefighters had been battling more grass fires compared to last January. 

In Temple, however, firefighters have battled fewer grass fires and structure fires this month compared to a year ago by this time.

Tatum recommends people to dispose of cigarettes properly and to keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that is combustible. 

Currently, McLennan County is not under a burn ban. On Tuesday, McLennan County Commissioners are expected to discuss whether to renew the burn ban in the area.

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