By Jesse Wood
Feb. 16, 2015. With fire departments in the Watauga County responding to three structure since Friday and more cold weather in the forecast, Assistant Fire Marshal Taylor Marsh sent out a public service announcement with tips on how to safely keep livestock warm.
Marshall said that the three fires, all involving structures housing livestock and farm equipment, occurred on Friday, Saturday morning and early Monday. On Friday, a structure fire occurred at 3740 Bethel Road. On Saturday morning, another structure fire occurred at 138 Spice Lane. The third fire, while still under investigation, occurred in the Cove Creek area.
“It’s bizarre to have three barn fires in one weekend,” Marsh said.
While no people were injured in the fires, Marsh said that several goats and chickens and a couple of cows died in the fires.
“We are trying to avoid that any further,” Marsh said.
When attempting to keep your pets warm and safe, fire officials recommend the following:
- Avoid using heating equipment (open flame devices, heat lamps, etc,) in or around combustible materials in barns and sheds.
- When using heating equipment, place the equipment in non-animal accessible areas to avoid the potential for the equipment becoming knocked over or broken.
- When using extension cords to power heating equipment or plugging in farm equipment, make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use, and that it is not overloading an electrical system.
- Experts say that merely keeping your animals out of the wind and dry, without the use of heating equipment, is considered safe practices during winter weather.
- We understand the importance of keeping animals safe during winter weather, but make sure they are being protected in an appropriate and safe way!