Too many fires lately. Latest news

WHITE MOUNTAINS – Each year, firefighters and law enforcement agencies have too many fires to deal with. This could have been prevented with just a little normal maintenance from the owners.

Between October 1 and January 29, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) had to respond to no fewer than 18 fires, while Timber Mesa Fire and Medical District (TMFMD) firefighters responded to 25 fires.

“These fires ranged from brush fires to fires with a total loss structure with an estimated resulting loss of 588,501 US dollars,” said a press release from NCSO information officer Tori Gorman.

Since the White Mountains are in a part of the state that has a lot of snowfall and very low temperatures during the winter months, Gorman picked up some tips from the NCSO and TMFMD so that people wouldn’t need someone to respond to an unwanted fire.

• Have your fireplace checked and cleaned before use

• Replace the batteries in all smoke alarms (and carbon monoxide alarms) twice a year

• Never plug a room heater into an extension cord

• Never use a stove or oven as a heat source

• Always make sure the coals are cold to the touch before throwing them away

• Have an escape plan for you and your family

• Always have a fire extinguisher ready

• Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children

Gorman explained that it is a must that everyone, be it a tenant or a homeowner, or if they live in an apartment or a one- or two-story house, must have an escape plan in the event of a fire, and they need to discuss the escape plan and practice so everyone knows what to do.

Gorman also reminded parents to teach their children that fire is not a toy but an adult tool and teach children not to hide from firefighters or police officers who come to their aid during a disaster such as a fire.

Equally important in an escape plan is to do the necessary maintenance on chimneys at least once a year to ensure they are serviceable and the chance of a fire being minimal.

“Each winter, Navajo County’s deputies respond to an increasing number of fires in residential areas and buildings, largely due to a lack of adequate heating sources. Our research has shown that many of these fires may have been prevented by taking additional steps to be flammable in our homes. Please take the time to inspect your stove, fireplace, and electric heaters. Also, make sure that furniture and other flammable materials are kept away from your heat sources. It is very unfortunate when a family is evicted or, worse, is killed in a fire, ”Gorman quoted NCSO Sheriff David Clouse in her press release.

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