Wildfire Danger Information
The City of Amarillo and surrounding communities have seen several red flag warnings this season. We’ve seen how quickly fires can become out of control and cause significant property damage and potentially loss of life.
It is important for each department to recognize their responsibility to prevent fires and to take appropriate actions when these dangerous conditions exist.
How do we know when there is an increased fire danger?
Burn ban map for Texas: http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/Burnbans/. This map is updated with the latest information on burn bans in Texas.
Emergency Management sends out daily weather updates to all departments. This email contains weather forecast information and any anticipated weather watches and warnings.
In addition, these emails will inform you when dangerous fire conditions exist, such as:
o Elevated Fire Weather
o Red Flag Warning
o Critical Fire Weather
Several job tasks are at high risk of starting a fire, and should be prohibited on days that have been designated as elevated fire weather, red flag warning or critical fire weather. These below activities should only take place within a designated hot work area such as a welding shop during these high fire danger days.
Welding of any kind
Metal cutting or other use of a torch
Grinding, sanding or rotary wire brush on metal that causes sparks
Any other equipment or tools that have a tendency to cause sparks near flammables
It is also a good time to discuss the following tasks with your staff to reduce this exposure during dangerous fire conditions:
Avoid operating a vehicle or equipment in tall, grass/weeds/debris etc., where the hot exhaust could ignite these dry fuels.
Immediately report any suspected or confirmed fire to 9-1-1
Review locations and proper use of fire extinguishers
On December 8, 2015 3 subjects were seen setting material in a City dumpster on fire in the alley. A witness reported the activity and APD found the subjects leaving the area. The fire caused damage to the dumpster and all 3 subjects were arrest for Criminal Mischief.
***The burning trash in a dumpster fire can emit noxious fumes that could be dangerous to anyone near it. Call 911 and do not try to extinguish these fires yourself. And as always, report any suspicious activity occurring in an alley or near a dumpster.***
On November 14, 2015 the FMO responded to a residential fire. The occupant was not able to escape in time and passed away due to smoke inhalation. It was determined that the fire was accident and caused by un-extinguished smoking material.
***Make certain that cigarettes or cigars are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended***
***Keeping smoking receptacles (ash tray) away from furniture or any other combustible material***
On October 25, 2015 a Deputy Fire Marshal responded to a fire scene. The fire was ruled intentionally set and a suspect was identified and arrested for Arson.
On October 16, 2015 the FMO responded to a small fire in the bathroom of Richard Millburn Academy. The fire was determined as intentionally set and surveillance video assisted in identifying the suspect responsible and he was arrested.
On May 6, 2015 Deputy Marshal’s responded to a structure fire for investigation. Through interviewing a possible suspect and witnesses on scene they were able to determine that the fire was set intentionally and a person was charged for Reckless Arson.
The suspect charged in this case, Brianna Curtis, was found guilty for Arson.
November 2014, Investigators responded to a vehicle fire at this location. At the time of the fire witnesses were able to give a description of a subject running from the scene as the fire started. The fire was ruled intentional and the investigation is still ongoing.
The suspect responsible for the fire has been identified and a warrant issued for his arrest. On 3-20-15 Deputy Fire Marshal’s acted on a tip and located the wanted subject hiding in an attic of a residence. An arrest was made without incident.