Friday, April 15, 2016

Fire Danger

By Sheriff Tom Nestor & Undersheriff Gordon Nall
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we are approaching fire season in Lincoln County. As many of us have tragically learned, fire is indiscriminate in its destruction. With afternoon thunderstorms causing dry lightning there are many ways Mother Nature can start a blaze without us contributing to the equation. However, too many times human error and misjudgment can cause unintended damage.

As many of us know, this summer is shaping up to be a fire season for the history books, but with a little vigilance we can impact the story significantly. We have already had multiple fires across Lincoln County in the
past few weeks.

Although atypical for that time of year, in February the Punkin Center fire caused thousands of charred acres and many scares. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office determined that the Punkin Center fire was caused by a careless smoker throwing a lit cigarette out of a passing vehicle.
On April 1,  Our local fire department responded to another grass fire in the same area that threaten structures within the first few minutes. The origin of that fire was ultimately ruled to be accidental due to power lines sparking. But, the fear it caused landowners and neighbors was very real.

On April 2, a landowner west of Hugo lost a barn and thousands of dollars of hay in an accidental fire. This particular fire also cause many structures in that vicinity to be threatened that afternoon.
Sadly, during the early morning hours of April 4, 2016 Jeff and Tammy Thornton of Karval, Colo. lost their house and all of their belongings to an electrical fire that started inside their home. The Thornton’s awoke to heavy smoke and flames already consuming their home. Thankfully, they were able to escape the danger through a window as the fire had already blocked the paths to their doorways. All of us at the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office extend the Thornton Family our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We would also like to mention that the Blue Cliff Community Church is accepting donations for the Thornton Family as they rebuild their home.

With all of these recent examples of how dangerous the upcoming fire season may be, we urge everyone to be vigilant with any materials that could spark a fire. As all Lincoln County residents know, we cannot guarantee rainfall during the hot summer months, so we must do our part in preventing fires in our community.

We would also like to thank all of our area fire departments for their tireless effort in keeping our community safe. Many times these volunteer firemen are called out of bed to face situations that are out of control. These men and women sacrifice their time and safety to protect our community on a daily basis. Their dedication over the past few months have been phenomenal and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office would like to tip our hat to all of them. Well done! We hope and pray that this summer is an uneventful one for all of you.

If we all do our part in maintaining fire safety, we can continue to keep Lincoln County safe, while lending our helping hands to those neighbors who need us. Thank you all in advance.

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