Bemidji Experiencing a Considerably High Number of Fire Responses
Unfortunately, Bemidji has been experiencing quite a bit of fires this past week. Not only this past week, but this year in general, the number of fires has been considerably high compared to past years.
With the dry weather this past summer, we have experienced many grass fires and vehicle fires. But now that the summer months are no longer and we are well within the colder months, the number of fire responses still seems to be very high.
Justin Sherwood, Bemidji Fire Chief, says that the population of Bemidji continues to grow, which means there are many individuals that are working from home, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This population growth is not only within the city itself, but also within the 522 square mile response area of the fire department. With many people staying home during the day, the afternoon time is said to be the highest response time.
Out of the three years of data collected by the Bemidji Fire Department, most of the fires are happening Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings. When they look at building fires, it’s during the early morning hours on Sundays. Sherwood adds that back in 2019, their total incident count was 95, with a count of 20 building fires. In 2020, total incidents were at 87 with a count of 24 building fires, but this year in 2021, the total incident count is at 165, with a count of 43 building fires.
Sherwood stresses the importance of being prepared, and what to be prepared with, when it comes to keeping ourselves and our families safe if we were to have a fire in the home. Sherwood says that investing in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for the home is the best investment you can make to ensure safety. Smoke detectors are available for free through the fire department.
For more information on how to stay safe in the case of a fire, you can visit the Bemidji Fire Department’s Facebook page.