Red Flag Warning for Brush Fire Danger: Carl Junction Helped by Volunteer Firefighters

Red Flag Warning for Brush Fire Danger: Carl Junction Helped by Volunteer Firefighters
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The risk of fire is high in the four states and officials issue a red flag warning.

It means officials don’t want anyone to burn.

Conditions are just right for brush fires.

For the Carl Junction Fire Department having a variety of volunteer firefighters available is key to getting those fires under control.

Andrew O’Connell checked the water pressure on the brush truck at the Carl Junction fire department this morning. He’s a resident volunteer here. One of six.

Chief Joe Perkins said, “They live in the stations, the outlying stations. We take care of their rooming expenses, take care of their rent and all that and in exchange for that they put in sixty hours a week.”

O’Connell said, “Everything they do, you do. You run calls. The only difference is they’re here every third day and you’re here every day so you get to learn very quickly, get a lot of experience very quickly. Up at three in the morning. You get a call, you go.”

O’Connell helped douse a brush fire this morning at highway YY and Ivy road that originally started with a controlled burn four days ago but reignited with today’s strong winds.

O’Connell said, “You see a lot of careless people burning, not knowing just a small burn barrel and all of a sudden ten acres on fire, so.”

Chief Perkins adds, “Even if they’re doing small outside burning, it can turn into a bigger fire. You get property, bigger property, residents and once those fires start in those buildings, wind driven fire of any kind is gonna be difficult to control.”

Firefighters say it’s not just the wind kicking up embers that’s the problem on a red flag day.

Jasper county emergency manager Keith Stammer said, “Low humidity is the key here. The lower the humidity, the dryer fuel in this case grass and brush. And as it begins to get dryers it’s a lot easier for it to start burning.”

and spread fast as several did in Ottawa county last month charring four hundred acres.

Preventing widespread brush fires in the Carl Junction district takes the help of thirty total volunteers some with full time jobs outside of firefighting.

And others who are full time volunteers like O’Connell.

Perkins said, “They do so much for us. And we really are reliant on it.”

Carl Junction offers firefighting classes in conjunction with Crowder College. Often it’s the students who become volunteers to boost their education in firefighting.