POTTER COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — When it comes to elevated fire danger days like Tuesday, local fire departments such as Potter County Fire-Rescue and Hoover Volunteer Fire Department can find their resources pushed to the limit.

Captain Clint Dalrymple with the Hoover Volunteer Fire Department said when it comes to fighting grassfires during those elevated fire danger days, it can be very taxing on both the volunteers and equipment.

“These are getting to be pretty much super fires and as much pre-loading and fuel that we have now, usually when we get paged out we are gone for a while,” said Capt. Dalrymple.

Public Information Officer with Potter County Fire-Rescue Steven Denny said that, unlike a traditional fire department like Amarillo, Potter County Fire-Rescue has six paid firefighters with the rest being volunteers.

He said if a major wildfire breaks out, people will have to be cycled out and allow people to go home to rest and they’ll have them come back in the morning and possibly call in additional resources.

Denny added they maintain their fleet 100% all the time and said it is always ready to go. He said if a truck is not ready to go, it is taken out of service. Denny added a loss of a truck, such as in an accident or breaking down would be devastating.

“We just can’t get the trucks, because of the chip shortage and COVID and that sort of thing. It’s just been an ongoing thing just getting the trucks. Losing a truck or having a truck going out of service would be catastrophic to any department because the trucks just aren’t available,” said Denny.

Capt. Dalrymple added the loss of a truck takes a toll on department funds to repair or replace the vehicle that was lost and man hours.

He said if that happens, you have to pull on resources you do have.

“A lot of time if we have a truck go down in the middle of a fire, the guys that are on that truck, we try to get it back to the station and they get to work on that truck immediately, while the fire is still going on, try to get it repaired and get back out. That’s about the best we can do,” said Capt. Dalrymple.

Denny said they remind volunteers to stay hydrated on elevated fire danger days due to the fact they don’t want any injuries.

He added when they do go out to fight a fire in the county, they have to locate the nearest receptacle for water. He said they have to go back and forth to fill their trucks. Denny said it could be up to two thousand gallons of water depending on the truck and fire.

Denny also reminded people to call them early and often. He said they would rather go check on something and it end up being nothing than let a fire get out of control.

Capt. Dalrymple added the best thing someone can do to help out these departments is by creating a defensible space by keeping lawns and trees manicured and cut back.