‘Our first priority is going to be life safety’: Randall County Fire Department prepares for high winds

VIDEO: Randall County Fire prepares for high winds
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 10:08 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 1:35 AM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With the type of weather we are expecting over the next couple of days, fire fighters must be prepared, from equipment all the way to mind set.

Texas A&M forest service says, it’s all hands on deck with the inclement weather set to come.

“With winds up to 70 miles an hour, our first priority is going to be life safety and that is because during days like this, we will see fire being highly susceptible to resistance to control with high rates of spread. So what that means is that fires will be much harder to get a handle on,” says Juan Rodriguez, Wind land urban interface coordinator, Texas A&M Forest Service.

When it comes to living in the Panhandle, Troy Ducheneaux says our weather conditions change in a moments notice, so they are constantly watching the weather.

“We could have cloud cover in one area of the county. The other area of the county is going to be open to the clear blue skies so it’s going to heat up more and make those fuels more receptive. So we’ve got to kind of know where we’re going to have our clearing come first because that’s where our potential danger is going to happen first,” says Troy Ducheneaux, Randall County Fire Marshall.

The fire department says more men are needed to man all trucks and equipment. Rodriguez says the most important thing is having equipment and personnel ready to go. Even their mind set plays a huge role during the job when weather is bad.

“You cant go out whenever you have something going on at home or anything like that. Our people have to be ready for anything that could happen,” said Rodriguez.

“With so much heavy equipment there is a lot of maintenance that goes into them. Anytime after we use them either out on a mitigation project or on a fire, typically that time right after, we try to do what’s called rehabbing our equipment,” continues Rodriguez.

Randall County Fire Department says their first priority is to keep people safe.

This week NewsChannel 10 will continue to keep a close eye on any potential fire dangers and bring you and your family informed.

VIDEO: Devyn Darmstetter, Live at FIVE, Randall County Fire prepares for windy weather