WILLCOX — A carelessly tossed cigarette or a dragging chain may have already caused several fires this summer.
The Willcox Fire Department responded to several fires at the end of May adjacent to Interstate 10. According to Director of Public Safety Chief Dale Hadfield, many of the fires were either caused by individuals driving along the road and disposing of their cigarette butts by throwing them out the window, or by vehicles with chains being dragged behind.
“Unfortunately, interstates are some of the big spots because you get tires that blow out and catch sparks; semis have chains dragging, sending sparks; and then, of course, people smoking cigarettes and throwing them out was always a big one,” Hadfield said. “Extinguish cigarettes, deposit them in approved containers. Check all chains on trailers, and make sure nothing is dragging on your vehicle that could cause a spark.”
At milepost 329 westbound on I-10, two fires were sparked at the same place within 10 days. Not only are these fires a drain on manpower, they also use a tremendous amount of water.
“All of our pumpers, they hold about 1,500 gallons; and when we’re hooked up to a hydrant, we can actually pump water at 1,500 gallons of water per minute. We can drain a lot of water pretty quickly,” Hadfield said.