WACO, TX (FOX 44) – When it comes to the rain, there’s one group who’s enjoying it for more reasons than one.
Firefighters, this rain is providing them much relief from the extreme fire season we’ve been experiencing.
Large groups like A&M Forest Services to small organizations like the Downsville Volunteer Fire Department are enjoying water touching the ground.
Constantly working on fires, they’re taking a moment of rest before the next call.
“To actually see the rain and have it here and know that we get to spend a little more time with our families now not just working really long and hot hours down on the fires is a really nice relief for everyone,” said Kiley Moran, Texas A&M Forest Services Public Information Officer
After months of little rainfall and extreme drought conditions, Moran says the gray clouds looming over us will give fire agencies more control if a spark flies.
“The fires that we do see now are going to be smaller,” said Moran. “They’re going to be able to get a handle at the local level.”
Having equipment and outside agencies at their office in McGregor for the last three months, Moran says they’ll look into releasing its extra hands and equipment by the beginning of September if the rain continues.
Downsville Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief, Andy Bird shares enjoyment for rain but is keeping his team prepared.
“The brush on top is still very, very dry, and it’ll still catch on fire, so we’re trying,” said Bird. “We’re walking a the fine line here, cause people say, oh, it’s raining and they want to light a fire, well, we’re still in our burn ban.”
Downsville expects to break last year’s record of 85 fire calls.
They already have 8, and expect to hit 130 by the end of the year.
“In the wintertime, wildland fires are very dangerous also because humidity drops down the cold fronts, you get that drier air coming down, strong north winds, so I think right now with the rain we have a temporary band-aid, but I don’t think it’s something that we need a band-aid off yet for sure,” said Bird.
Speaking with other fire agencies in the area, Bird says the focus now in some areas is traffic crashes.
For the burn ban in Bell County, it’s commissioners court decided to extend it today lasting until September 6.