While battling a blaze that destroyed a family’s home on July 23, two Frisco firefighters had to be taken to the hospital for heat-related illnesses.
According to WFAA, Frisco Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner said due to the heat, the fire had to be elevated to a two-alarm fire, which requires more units to assist the crew in place.
“Because of the heat, the incident commander, the person in charge of the fire scene knew that the heat was going to be a factor with our firefighters so they went ahead and called for that second alarm so that we had people there that they could switch out people more frequently and they could share more of those duties and those tasks,” Kistner said.
As reported by WFAA, extra units for rotation are part of a long-term policy for the department during extreme heat periods, as crews struggle to fight flames under over 100 degrees temperatures and in gear that is not breathable and heavy and other departments in Collin County are taking safety measures as well.
"We hydrate, we try to stay as active and fit as we can to combat that stress on our bodies and just take breaks," Plano Fire-Rescue Lt. Daniel Daly told NBCDFW. "It's like wearing a parka. Our coat, our pants, our boots and our air pack is about 40-45 pounds," added Daly referring to the gear crew members use to fight the flames.
North Texas is under elevated fire risk this week as weather conditions stay dry and hot. While according to forecasts from the Texas A&M Forest Service, Collin County is currently under a moderate fire danger rating, as the week progresses and neighboring counties enter high and very high ratings, risks of wildfire in the area will increase. There are currently 113 counties with burn bans in place. Humans are one of the main causes of wildfires. Just over the past month, two major wildfires that broke out in North Texas in Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County and in Saginaw in Tarrant County were human-caused.
With the extreme weather, keeping safe is the best way to help keep firefighters safe.