The Duncan Banner

September 12, 2013

Déja vu for Velma firefighters

Toni Hopper
The Duncan Banner

VELMA — Velma Fire Department doesn’t think twice about calling for aid when a fire breaks out in or around its community. Situated in the middle of a huge oil and gas industrialized area, they’ve had too many fires to battle to take a casual attitude.

On Wednesday, just before 1 p.m., it was deja vu, when a fire erupted one-eighth of a mile from inside city limits — pretty much near the location of the April 9, 2009 fire, said Fire Captain Monte Tadlock.

“That’s why we’re quick to call for assistance from neighboring communities,” he said. “It’s all around the oil and gas industry. Chevron Company has numerous wells and the potential for it to be dangerous.”

The small fire department, made up of volunteer firefighters, has already been out on a few wildfires this month — including one on Weaver Chapel Road, south of State Highway 7 barely a week ago.

Twenty-five acres burned, but a cause is unknown, he said. It happened just west of Velma’s town limits, by the Chuckwagon BBQ. The area is filled with downed trees and while it wasn’t a big fire, it was really hard to get to and battle, Tadlock said.

Velma, Loco, Oakridge, Doyle, Bray and County District No. 2 assisted.