Grass fires impact volunteer firefighters

Grass fires impact volunteer firefighters

COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO)-The strong winds and high temperatures are a bad combination when it comes to fires, but it can also take a toll on firefighters. In the past several weeks multiple volunteer departments have battled dozens of grass and structure fires.

A fire broke out between Cache and Lawton Wednesday morning. Cache, Indiahoma, and Geronimo Volunteer Fire Departments responded.

Cache Fire Department officials said a power line may have snapped and caused the fire to spark. The fire spread quickly, burning about 30 to 40 acres before it was put out about 2 hours later.  No homes were involved and no one was hurt.

With the the number of wild fires we have seen in the past few days firefighters said the job can be extremely tough. When most of the firefighters are at their regular job they get called out to grass and structure fires.

Landon Cochrane goes above and beyond. He's works as EMT for a local hospital and also serves as a volunteer firefighter.

"With being an EMS we work 24 hour shifts, 2 days, two 24 hour shifts a week, and then I'm able to help volunteer for the rest of the time when I'm available and try to help as much as I can. We've had about 30 calls a month and I've answered about 15 of them," said Cochrane.

Cochrane got off work this morning and was getting ready to run a few errands before he was called out to a grass fire that spread across 40 acres in Comanche County.

"Today's fire look like a possible high line wire snapped and it was a lot of high fuel area a lot of tall grass so it spread quickly. Grass fires it's a lot of smoke inhalation, but we try to stay out of the smoke as best we can to put the fire out," said Cochrane.

It's a different story for Indiahoma Volunteer firefighter Bill Nadeau. He also works at Goodyear putting in 40 hours every week.

"Unfortunately when you are at work we have the phone app so i know when we have fires its hard on me when i know my friends at Indiahoma, or Cache are fighting a large structure fire or grass fire and I can't respond but that's what volunteers are all about. You just go when you are off," said Nadeau.

Nadeau also assisted with the Cache fire this morning when he got off work. He said they always have a plan in place to put it out quickly.

"There is a game plan, there is someone in charge, there are techniques and strategies behind fighting fires," said Nadeau.

While the work can be tough many become volunteer firefighters because it's rewarding.

"I think everyone I know serves in one way or another whether it's a church or donation or whatever they do. But you get a lot of satisfaction. I like serving the community," said Nadeau.

Firefighters also remind people not drop any cigarette butts while driving and make sure any loose chains on vehicles or trailers are out of reach from the ground. Keep in mind , Governor Mary Fallin has issued burn bans for more than half of the state.

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