Fire Departments Getting Ready For Another Dangerous Fire Day

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - West Texas fire crews are scrambling to get ready for Tuesday.

Gusty winds are moving in and they're expecting to be busy battling even more grassfires.

"No fires are ever the same," Chief Jimmy Ellis with the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department, said. "We anticipate the worst and hope for the best."

Chief Ellis has been at his station all day getting ready for what could be a busy Tuesday.

Chief Leland Hart of the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Dept did the same.

"Go out make sure they start, the pumps start, make sure they're filled with water, make sure all the fluids are good so we're ready as we possibly can be," Chief Hart said.

The departments are taking extra precautions on Tuesday.

"We will have trucks at people's residence so that they will just go out of their residence and get in the truck, that way they can just go out and get in the truck and respond," Chief Hart said.

Chief Ellis said some of his men are even asking for the day off from work so they can help.

After last weekend's record number of fires across West Texas, their trucks took a beating.

"We had a flat on one and one of our fuel tanks got a hole in it," Chief Hart said.

"We've Band-Aid, duct taped it and bubblegum it together until we can get through this fire season and go from there," Chief Ellis said.

Even so, Greenwood and West Odessa will be armed with brush trucks to help them battle the blazes out in the fields, but even firefighters have to be careful.

"I watch them pretty close," Chief Ellis said. "I have oxygen in my truck that I carry. I try to rotate my people as much as I can to keep them out of the smoke and give them break times."

Both chiefs are urging everyone to play it safe.

"If you see smoke crossing the roadway, it may be safer just to turn around and find an alternate route," Chief Hart suggested.

"If they even think they have a fire, call 911," Chief Ellis said.