by Anayeli Ruiz
HOWARD COUNTY - Howard County firefighters are on high alert, not only do they have to worry about the dry conditions, but the potential human accidents that can cause a fire. But some special help has come in just in case it's needed.
"This week, we are level one response, all trucks and all units will respond to fires, " Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief, Tommy Sullivan, said.
Everyone is on high alert this weekend because all the elements for a fire are brewing in West Texas.
"We are expecting high winds alerts today (Wednesday) and we will be that way though weekend. Its gonna get super cold tomorrow (Thursday) night and increase the potential house fire and structure fires," Sullivan said.
But this weekend, they not only have to fight natural conditions, they also have to fight humans being careless and making mistakes.
"We encourage citizens to be careful with candles and heaters to make sure everything is right and to make sure it's safe this Thanksgiving holiday. We don't have any injuries or fatalities," Sullivan said.
But the West Texas Fire Departments have a little help just in case a big fire breaks.
"The Forest Service has a heli-tanker that can do water drops. It's stationed here at the airport so that gives a little bit of security that they are this close," Sullivan said.
The chopper will be a major asset in case anything goes wrong this holiday weekend. It will be on standby ready to go.
"Real benefit for not only us but the surrounding counties. The Forest Service has been a major player for the last couple of years," Sullivan said.
But even with this help, people still need to be careful when they are cooking or dealing with any kind of fire.
"We want people to be fire safe this holiday season," Sullivan said.
The chopper will be housed at the Big Spring airport for the next few months in order to help firefighters get through the dry winter season and they chose Big Spring as a central location for the Permian Basin.