West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department Ready to Fight Grassfires

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- The West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department was on standby Friday night. Those dry conditions this year has increased the fear that the fireworks could start numerous grassfires.
"We are getting ready we go through all of our trucks, we make sure everything is super up to bar.  My trucks are tired,  they are old, so we have to be extra careful," Chief Jimmy Ellis with the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department, said.

The West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department has being working very hard this fire season. They may be laughing and having a good time now, but once they are called, it's off to the fight.

"This is how we do it, everybody gets together, we eat, everybody mingles around, has a good time and then when things start getting busy the guys get serious and we all go back to work," Ellis said.

The 4th of July is usually one of the busiest days of the year for firefighters. They can do anywhere from 80 to 100 runs.

"We are dry enough where it's not going to it's as bad as we anticipated.  The rain has slowed it down but I still think we are going to have a few fires tonight once everybody starts cooling off and start getting out after dark, we will be a little busy," Ellis said.

Ector County is going through a drought. Disaster Declarations have been issued, but do to recent rains, it was lifted. But Elllis says we still have to careful.

"We are still way dry and we are still on the verge of still being in a disaster proportion.  Until we get a hurricane coming up the Gulf and give us about a week worth of slow steady rain, we are just going to be in a bind," Ellis said.