Cautious behavior can prevent majority of windy day fires

Cautious behavior can prevent majority of windy day fires

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - With high winds moving through the Permian Basin even a tiny spark can end up in tragedy.

The Midland Fire Department (MFD) said most of these fires can be prevented if we're more cautious.

Cigarette butts in dry areas and dragging chains are two of the most dangerous things you can do on days with high winds.

In his 35 years of firefighting experience, Midland Fire Marshal David Hickman said most fires are started by careless behavior and human error.

"People outside doing hot work, people outside doing burning, people flipping cigarettes and discarding a smoking material inappropriately," said Hickman.

Hickman said high winds help small fires gain momentum fast and can even start other fires.

"Where fire will develop, you have embers," said Hickman. "Fire burns up the embers then fly and travel down wind and can ignite other fires and that same phenomenon just propagates over and over again."

Days with high wind and high temperatures mixed with low humidity keep firefighters busy and wildfires are very possible to start.

"We still have to use our resources and if we have multiple fires, it really spreads us thin but a lot of this can be averted by just people modifying their behaviors," said Hickman.

MFD said keeping your grass and weeds cut short will help contain any possible fires and think about postponing any trash burns or outside work, like welding, for days with less wind.

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