(Harlan) The Shelby County Emergency Management in Cooperation with the Shelby County Emergency Services Association implemented a fire prevention project that is deemed a success. Shelby County Medical Services Coordinator Jason Wickizer says the goal was to keep the risk of fire danger in front of the public eye and reduce the number of fires during the fall harvest period.
“The main goals were to lower the amount of time that we were responding to brush or grass fires and reduce the risk for both persons and properties by giving a real time measure of where the fire danger is,” stated Wickizer.
This resulted in Shelby County not needing to impose an official burn ban.
Fire Danger Rating Signs were placed in each of 10 Shelby County Communities, in a visible location, and updates were provided on Tuesday and Thursdays, to the Fire Chiefs and the Media. The number of large hard to manage fires requiring the dispatch of multiple departments decreased dramatically from last year.
“The project was a success based on looking at call data from previous years and we are seeing about a 15-to-20-percent reduction in the total amount of time our fire departments have been out county wide,” says Wickizer.
This program achieved its goals. A burn ban was not declared in Shelby County.
Citizens who were planning burns called the Emergency Management Agency and their Fire Chiefs, with information, and to ask for assistance or advice.
Meanwhile, the risks of hard to control wild land fire and crop fires have dropped to a LOW level. Forecast is for snow. Daily frost and lack of fuel make running fire an unlikely event.
Wickizer says this will end Shelby Counties fall weekly fire Rating Updates. They will begin again in the Spring
December 1, 2011