AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Randall County Fire Department is receiving a new engine to enhance capabilities of fighting wildfires.
Due to the drought and the deep freeze from the winter storm, firefighters expect more wildfire outbreaks during this wildfire season compared to normal.
“A wildland fire is not going to start in their backyards, it’s going to start miles away from it but with our winds, it can sneak up on them pretty quickly. So, that is the concern that it can get to their home before they’re prepared,” said Clayton Baker, lieutenant at the Randall County Fire Department.
With the help of County commissioners, the department is receiving a new engine that is based on trucks that help fight federal wildfires.
“If we do have to set up to save a house, it has the capabilities of doing that,” said Joe Koch, district chief at the Randall County Fire Department.
Normally when the Randall County Fire Department responds to wildfires in our area, they’d be using a type four engine.
When they do receive their new type three wildland engine in just a few weeks though, it will provide more capabilities.
These include being able to staff the vehicle with more firefighters, getting through difficult terrain easier and pumping out water at a quicker rate.
“It makes our job a little easier especially for structure protection, whenever you have a wildfire coming up to a community or housing development, you have more people on the ground to help prep those structures to be able to save them,” said Koch.
“We’ll be able to work more efficiently with this truck where as before it was just a one or two-man cab so the more personnel will definitely help,” said Baker.
The engine also allows firefighters to extinguish fires in hard-to-reach locations.
“We’re able to deploy longer hose lines on this truck to be able to reach further in to hard-to-reach areas,” said Baker.
With the room for equipment, the engine can also respond to a lot of other types of calls.