Summer Fires’ Effects on Fire District Budgets
Parish fire districts are still hurting from the rash of summer fires. Caddo Fire District 7 Chief Danny Richardson says his department got hit for about $30,000 more than it had budgeted for the year. He says fuel expense is about double what was budgeted, and there were increases in truck repairs and overtime pay. He says his district usually averages 80 to 90 EMS and fire calls a month. This past August and September, it took around 200 calls. He says calls have decreased since the increased rainfall allowed for the lifting of the statewide burn ban -- but he encourages all parish residents to be mindful of wind conditions while burning. Meantime, he says officials will sit down at the fire district's next board meeting next month and figure out what can be shifted around to ensure the department has the funds to keep operating.