AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT)- The Amarillo Fire Department responded to an average of six working fires a day last winter.

This year AFD is asking for the communities’ help in preventing vacant building fires.

“If you own property that is not occupied, I suggest boarding it up, putting a security fence around it, but the number one thing you can do is patrol it regularly, said Jeff Justus, Public Information Officer. “Hire security guard, do it yourself, whatever you have to do.

According to Justus, the biggest problem they face is the unhoused starting fires in vacant buildings. This winter AFD is looking to track fires caused by the homeless community, as half of the fires are caused by the homeless.

Last year AFD had eight fire deaths, a record high for the department, according to Justus. AFD is asking the community to stay vigilant.

“We also rely on people witnesses, if you see someone going into an abandoned building, please call the police and report it, said Justus.” “It’s vital, we really don’t want to see this many fires again this winter and we had eight fire deaths last winter, which is also a record for our fire department. We don’t want to do that again.”

During the winter months, people are trying to stay warm, including the homeless population.

Justus continued, “There are plenty of places and resources available in Amarillo. In fact, we’re one of the leading cities in the country, for resources for homeless people. So there are more than enough beds every night that are available to the homeless, especially when it drops below freezing. They open it to just about anyone.”