Fighting Fire with Fire

Garrett Spradling, Borger Fire Marshall
Garrett Spradling, Borger Fire Marshall

Amarillo, TX - Borger firefighters watch as the city fills with smoke. It's from a fire they set themselves.

"Its goal is to reduce excess and hazardous fuel loads in the urban-rural interface as a means for providing a buffer zone for protection for wild land fires," said Garrett Spradling, Borger Fire Marshall PIO.

Fire marshalls say these grounds, where people illegally dump trash, are especially dangerous because they lie so close to residential neighborhoods.

"Citizens are at greater risk if we don't reduce this fuel load, than if we were to reduce it," Spradling said.

The city identified 10 rural areas within city limits that pose a danger to people the that live in neighboring communities. The entire project includes another six rural areas just outside city limits.

Tuesday, firefighters worked on the fourth targeted area, which covers nearly 65 acres, in the series of prescribed burns.

"This gives us an opportunity to get out here and do something proactive that can be a step in protecting the citizens," Spradling said. "When so many of these fires are unpredictable and uncontrollable."

Spradling assures these fires, however, are under control.