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Cape fire department posts signs to spark awareness of brush fires

By Staff | Apr 3, 2009

Cape Coral firefighters went door-to-door earlier this month handing out fire safety information, but a recent spat of brush fires throughout Southwest Florida and in the city has led them to add to their public awareness efforts.
Fire department officials have been posting white signs throughout the Cape that read “HIGH FIRE DANGER NO BURNING” in red letters.
Tom Tomich, the department’s chief of operations, said 50 signs have been posted in the past week, and are strategically placed in areas susceptible to brush fires.
“We put 50 signs in areas where we have urban interface, forested areas next to buildings,” he said.
Tomich specifically mentioned the areas north of Kismet Parkway on both sides of Chiquita Boulevard and the 3800 block of Oasis Boulevard as areas of concern.
Last week a grass fire near Northwest 14th Avenue and Kismet Parkway threatened several homes, but fire crews were able to put out the blaze before it caused any damage.
“I think we felt a little more passionate about getting more information out there,” he said.
Recent heavy winds have added to the danger. Tomich said 20 mph to 30 mph winds can help brush fires spread.
Wind gusts in the Cape reached 38 mph Saturday.
Tomich cited bonfires, fireworks, trash fires and the careless tossing of cigarette butts as common causes of brush fires.
“We actually did a brush fire blitz a month ago and visited people on a door-to-door basis. We still have these occasions where people are careless,” he said.