Luther Firefighters Thankful For Wet Summer Conditions


Friday, July 26th 2013, 6:21 pm
By: News 9


It's been an unusually rainy summer at a time when wildfires typically spring up.

Almost a year ago in Luther, a huge grass fire scorched trees and nearly took out everything in sight. That is why firefighters are thankful that this wildfire season is much wetter than last year's.

"Definitely the moisture we've been getting this year, this summer, and the cooler temperatures that's helped out tremendously," said Luther Fire Chief Jason Miller.

Other than a few spot fires, this summer has been fairly slow and rainy for the Luther Fire Department.

"It gives us a little extra time to prepare for later on down the road and make sure everything is in [the] best of shape as we can get it in and ready for when that call comes out," Miller said.

The biggest call of Miller's career came last year on August 3, when a massive grass fire swept through Luther burning 2,700 acres and 56 structures, including many homes.

"I've been on the department for 10 years and fought a lot of grass fires and have never seen anything like that before," Miller said.

Fighting that large fire took a toll on the small department made up of volunteers. So this much wetter summer has allowed them to refurbish old pumps, add on a new storage building, a new truck and new uniforms as crews prepare for the next blaze.

"We do worry that later on down the road when the moisture quits and we do get some of those higher temperatures and humidity and things start drying out, then that's just going to add to our fuel load later on down the road," Miller said.

Other small fire departments, including McLoud, Noble and Little Axe, say crews are also working on repairs and doing extra training during the downtime they've had this season.