By Matt Montgomery
firstname.lastname@example.orgWith dry conditions and high winds in the Piedmont area, comes the danger of wildfires. Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan offered some tips on how to stay safe while Canadian County is still under a fire burn ban.
The City of Piedmont is not issuing burn permits right now, and Logan said that coupled with the Canadian County burn ban has helped the fire department out.
“We’ve had a few small fires, but nothing of any real magnitude,” Logan said. “Most of them were accidental fires.”
Logan said outdoor activities that could lead to a fire like welding, torching or grills must be used with caution and it’s also a good idea to have a spotter watch for sparks and stand waiting with a bucket of water to extinguish those.
“We encourage people to be mindful of the hazards when it come to welding and torching,” he said. “When there’s a burn ban in effect, cutting and welding activities have to be approved on a case-by-case basis.”
Activities like welding have to be approved and those participating in the activity have to have a fire watcher, he said.
“A fire watcher is someone to sit there and watch for sparks, embers and things that could eventually start a fire.”
This week, Piedmont has been in the “extreme” fire danger category. High winds, dormant vegetation and variances in dew point and humidity have put the danger for wildfires very high.
“The small amount of moisture that we’ve got lately, doesn’t do anything to prevent a fire,” he said. “You get a day with high winds and low humidity, you have really good odds of having a fire.”
Logan said using common sense when the conditions are the way they are goes a long way in preventing a grass fire.
He said Piedmont residents need to adhere to a strict discipline of preventing sparks from landing in the grass.
“You really want to be mindful of those sparks and assign a fire watcher to monitor the embers and sparks,” he said. “Any time you are doing some sort of outdoor activities, be mindful of those embers.”
For those who are permitted to have a controlled burn need to have a permit from the City of Piedmont and also be approved by them.
For more information on burn permits, visit www.piedmont-ok.gov or call town hall at 373-2621.