The Cost of Fighting Fires in Howard County

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - "All of our firemen, our volunteer firemen they have jobs too. So they get home from work and they have to go fight a fire, it's just wearing them out," Howard County Judge Mark Barr told NewsWest 9.

And that's not the only problem Howard County is dealing with this year.

Especialy when you look at fires like the one that popped up on Thursday evening.

"Our fuel bill for this year, we have already blown that budget, we have talked to the judge and he is going to talk to the Commissioner about increasing it, but these fires are still going to happen, and we are going to have to have fuel in the fire trucks to go and get them, and I am confident that we'll be alright," Howard County Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan, said.

Howard County has had more than one-hundred and twenty fire since January. Fire officials receive from 3 to 4 calls a day warning them about potential hot spots.

And Howard County's Volunteer Fire Department is having to deal with all of the calls.

"This is wearing down on us, when you're running all of these fires and putting in 20 to 30 hours, a fire it wears them out, but we have enough of us that one will take the shift and turn it over to another shift and they will carry on," Sullivan said.

The burn ban still allows the burning of trash. Howard County residents just have to very careful.

If not, a 500 dollar fine is involved.

"Just pick days that are calm and hopefully the relative humidity is up and be sure to have a lid that will catch the sparks from flying out of it," Barr said.

"It's a tender box out there and one little spark and it's off to the races," Sullivan said.