NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Fire season is wreaking havoc in Tennessee, and Nashville is not immune.
So far this year, the Nashville Fire Department has responded to at least 150 structure fires. The number exceeds the number of structure fires at this time last year.
According to the latest data, February and March have more than 100 fires.
“The temperature is of course dropping and people are staying home a little bit more, and that’s a trend that usually drops with the temperatures we see at this time of year,” said Jerry Tomlinson, deputy operations manager. of fire at NFD.
Tomlinson explained that cold months mean more people are looking for ways to warm up, but high heat can lead to dangerous results. While a spike in fires is normal at this time of year, the department says unpredictable weather conditions can take a toll on structures.
“The wind is obviously not a friend of the fire at all. It helps spread those flames,” Tomlinson explained.
He went on to explain how snow and heavy rain can also put a strain on crews. In January, the city experienced record snowfall, and when you combine that with the fire, it can be difficult to manage. For example, Tomlinson explained how crews have to work through fires and then walk outside in snow, weighing down gear from rain and turning it into layers of ice.
“Nashville is experiencing an up and down trend in temperatures and we’re just making adjustments as we go to be able to navigate and meet needs during these times,” Tomlinson said.
January kicked off structural fire season, and the department responded to 48 structural fires that month. In February and March, crews responded to 51 structure fires.
The ministry explained that there are ways residents can do more to prepare for a fire emergency. One of the most important things is to make sure there is a working and up-to-date fire alarm throughout the house.
“Smoke detectors save lives; today’s fires have been shown to give people less time to get out of a house than years ago, so a working smoke alarm is definitely an advantage,” Tomlinson explained. .
As the cold weather continues, crews are being prepared for the worst to ensure they are ready no matter the conditions.