Fritch prepares for dangerous wildfire season

Fritch prepares for dangerous wildfire season

Fritch, TX - The Fritch Fire Department is warning residents of a more dangerous than usual wildfire season.

Prolonged drought conditions and limited funding for controlled burns have left an unusually large amount of fuel in the Lake Meredith and Canadian River area. There are eight tons of fuel per acre to be exact.

Fire Chief Ronnie Morrison is urging residents who live on the outskirts of Lake Meredith to start cleaning up their homes and said his crews are willing to help. "We will come out and evaluate their properties for them and let them know exactly how to improve their properties so they at least have a chance to survive one of these fires that's going to come through here," said Morrison.

The fire department hosted an informational meeting last week, but it wasn't well attended. "We had five people show up," said Morrison. "We're trying to show films of how to protect their houses, and we had five people come to the meeting. So no, they're not ready for it. Most people just don't believe it's going to affect them. Here in Fritch, everybody living on the edge of the Canadian River, it will affect you."

Morrison said one of his biggest concerns is a lack of resources. "We're a volunteer fire department that has room for 34 volunteers on it. Right now we have 17. Of that 17, we have five that have any experience at all."

He said Fritch will rely heavily on help from nearby counties if a wildfire does happen. The minimum response time from those fire departments is about 30 minutes.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10