JVFD puts out 5-plus acre fire in town

By John Earp

Last Thursday afternoon, Jal Volunteer Fire Department successfully contained and extinguished a brush fire near First St and Wyoming, in very thick brush on land just a few hundred feet south of Family Dollar. Smoke could be seen from the fire all the way across town.

Fire Chief Nick Moody says the fire department had five vehicles on scene, including three grass trucks and two water tenders, which are similar to water trucks. “The city came in with a backhoe to help us, just because it was so thick in there,” said Moody. He said it took the department about two hours to completely extinguish the blaze. Jal Animal Control assisted in evacuating a herd of goats that was potentially in harm’s way to the south of the fire. Including the Jal Police Department, Jal Emergency Medical Services, and Jal Volunteer Fire Department, a total of 14 city personnel assisted in putting out the fire.

Moody says that had the fire occurred the previous day, with the very high winds that occurred on that day, the situation would have been far worse. He says the origin of the fire is still under investigation. He says there were no obvious causes for the fire. He said, “There was no heat source out there. There were no downed power lines. I’m going to estimate it to be around probably 5 or 6 acres.”

Moody recommends that in order to avoid fires, everyone check their chains whenever they’re hauling anything, to make sure you’re not dragging anything, don’t throw cigarettes out the window, if you’re a smoker, make sure you use your ashtray. Don’t throw it out the window.

The Jal VFD presently has around 15 members, according to Moody, with three full-time firefighters who also assisted with EMS call. Jal EMS has two full-time paramedics who also serve as firefighters when needed. Moody says that full-time firefighters with JVFD are also at least emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

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