Fire risk increasing as temperatures rise

Fire risk increasing as temperatures rise

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson Fire Department has been busy in recent days responding to fire calls including two separate fires at homeless camps.

TFD was called to a homeless camp brush fire near Country Club and Benson Highway last Thursday. Crews responded to another homeless camp that caught fire near Drexel and White Rock on Monday.

The department said the number of fires it's responding to is fairly normal during this time of year.

"Any kind of small spark, whether that be from a car or any other kind of heat source, can light up the ground and spread really quickly," said TFD Public Information Officer Michael Colaianni.

The Department of Forestry & Fire Protection implemented Stage II fire restrictions Tuesday. No campfires or outdoor fires are allowed under the restrictions. The department has three phases and moves to the next stage if weather conditions worsen and fire danger increases. The first phase, Stage I, allows campfires in a developed site.

COVID-19 hasn't had large impacts on how TFD is fighting fires. The department said the gear crews wear is actually giving them an extra layer of protection.

"When our guys go into a scene, they're wearing an oxygen mask and their turnout gear which is going to keep them protected from not just fire but a lot of other things as well," Colaianni said.

He said the department has tried to inform the community about the P-100 respirator masks crews wear when responding to calls.

"We’ve been trying to educate the public, he said. “Don’t freak out if the fire department looks a bit different when entering your home because we are just trying to take as many precautions as possible.”

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