TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Local firefighters are overwhelmed with calls as wildfires are sparking in spiking numbers across East Texas and the dry weather conditions are not helping.
Although people are defenseless when putting out a house fire, there are proactive measures people can take to prevent one.
Cory Clanton is the chief of the Smith County Emergency Service District Two.
“One ember gets out, the probability that it will ignite the grasses and begin to grow is pretty high right now,” said Cory Clanton.
However, there are measures you can take to increase the safety of your home.
“I would discourage, you know, stacking your firewood on the front porch or up close to the house,” said Clanton. “Just all those kinds of things that can be preventative to avoid getting one little Ember, finding something to rest in, and beginning a much larger fire that ultimately causes your home to catch.”
Fire officials recommend not planting shrubs against your home.
“It’s very difficult for us to control a wildfire in those kinds of situations where you have all that growing right against your house,” said Clanton.
It is also a good idea to clear leaves out of your gutters, from under your deck, and out of the corners of your porch. Use wire mesh to prevent the brush from crowding under your home.
“We just ask the public to be safe,” said Clanton. “I mean, really think ahead about what you’re doing. Things as simple as barbecuing or grilling, or maybe having a little fire around in the yard at night. Make sure it is completely out.”
Getting rid of outdoor patio furniture and installing sprinklers can also help. With the fourth of July coming up, Clanton recommends attending a larger celebration instead of shooting off your own fireworks and that if you do, make sure you are away from homes.