Fire department ready for fireworks

In preparation for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display, the Craig Rural Fire Protection District conducted a prescribed burn Thursday night.

The burn took place in the vacant field directly south of Moffat County High School.

"Basically what we're doing is burning off the fuels that could potentially ignite during the fireworks display," said Kamisha Siminoe, public education officer for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District.

The fire department burned two areas that surround the fireworks discharge site.

"We had no problems," Craig Fire Chief Roy Mason said. "Everything went really well."

Mason said the fire department burned roughly two acres, over four hours.

Siminoe said a similar prescribed burn is done each year before the fireworks display.

"This really isn't a new thing," Siminoe said. "We do it every year when we do fireworks. But because there's such a heightened awareness of where we are with our conditions this year, we've taken some extra precautionary measures."

Siminoe said the fire department's additional precautionary measures include collecting panoramic pictures of the area, walking the perimeters of the controlled burn zone and familiarizing themselves with potential area fuel types. The fire department has also worked with the Bureau of Land Management in assessing possible weather and fuel conditions prior to the fireworks display. The fire department also burned a larger area then normal.

Mason said in years past the department would typically burn an eighth of acre or less.

"We usually don't do it to this extent," Mason said. "But it should make it a little more resistant with respect to the spot fires that can occur."

Siminoe said the controlled burn would help.

"Safety is our primary concern," Siminoe said. "But this isn't fire proof. It's fire resistant."

The fire department obtained a permit from the city of Craig and the Moffat County Sheriff's Department for the burn.

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