Fire safety tips during the dry, cold season in Amarillo

As part of the dry climate and cold season, Amarillo has seen an increase in fires.

Since January of this year, AfD forces have responded to 346 fires. Of these fires, 82 were building fires, 12 fence fires, 20 cooking fires, 21 garbage fires, 23 vehicle fires, 34 grass fires, 76 garbage or outdoor garbage fires, 42 dumpster fires, and five were chimney fires, among other things.

With this increase in dangerous incidents, the Amarillo Fire Department has shared some safety tips to keep your family and home safe in the event of a fire.

The Amarillo Fire Department was fighting a 2-alarm fire at a vacant two-story apartment building in the 400 block of NE 6th Avenue just before midnight Thursday.

According to AFD Community Liaison Officer Jeff Justus, many of the outdoor dumpster and dumpster fires are a result of the homeless population trying to keep warm this winter.

“A lot of our fires lately have been caused by homeless people so I would ask people to be vigilant, vigilant and vigilant – if you see anyone entering an abandoned property please call the authorities,” Justus said.

In preparation for the dry season, the AFD is asking people to protect the outside of their homes by ensuring all vegetation is trimmed and watered where possible to reduce the likelihood of a fire near the home and to clear debris or dry vegetation under decks or in corners and tight spaces. The AFD asks that you be careful when grilling on windy days and not leave it unattended.

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