Texoma wildfire threat spotlights need for volunteers - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Texoma wildfire threat spotlights need for volunteers

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The Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department needs more people. (KTEN) The Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department needs more people. (KTEN)

OVERBROOK, Okla. -- You've seen the devastating images from the deadly California wildfires.

It's now wildfire season across Texoma, and area fire departments are appealing for volunteers.

Some agencies have already received more than 200 calls this year, and the need for staffing has reached a critical point at the Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department, which serves portions of Love and Carter counties.

"Some of us rotate, but it's good to have people that can be here, available for us... especially during the day, the peak hours," said Deputy Chief Michael Campbell.

But that's easier said than done at volunteer fire stations.  Most of Love County's 14 fire stations are in desperate need of volunteers.

"Some of them could use four or five guys for sure, right now," Campbell said. "Especially with wildfire season is really getting here."

He said sparsely-populated parts of Texoma are especially at risk.

"Courtney, Orr, Leon, Jimtown area... they definitely need some more support," Campbell said.

Are you qualified to be a volunteer firefighter? Different departments have different standards.

"We have a monthly meeting ... the third Monday of every month," Campbell said. "You'll come fill out an application, introduce yourself, and the board will make a decision on you, and we'll go from there."

He added that while a bigger staff is always helpful, donations of any kind are welcome.

"They all go towards maintenance for fuel, for costs of the stations, electricity, water, everything...  training, training materials and gear, bunker gear," Campbell said.

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