Crews use ‘fire science’ to fight grass fires

By Emily Younger
KSN – March 7, 2017


Long before a grass fire breaks out, crews train on how to control them, learning about fire science.

People tend to think the only thing to fighting a fire is hosing it down with water, however according to fire officials, that’s far from the truth.

“Grass fires are kind of a different beast,” said Lt. Shane McCoy with the El Dorado Fire Department.

Lt. Shane McCoy explained to KSN on Monday how firefighters are trained to stop fires using fire science.

“Fire science is teaching you the anatomy of fire, how it works, how it operates, what you need to do to control it the best,” McCoy said.

McCoy is a graduate of the Butler County Community College Fire Science program. He said to control a fire, particularly a grass fire, it’s important to first assess the situation.

“When you are dealing with these fires, it’s important to know what way the wind is blowing. Wind is oxygen, so it’s just fueling the fire,” he said.

McCoy said it also depends on the humidity and outside temperature.

“The warmer the weather is, the faster the fire is going to burn because the fire index is higher,” he said.

He said crews have to take each of these things into account when deciding how to attack a fire. McCoy said while every situation is different, it’s vital for crews to stop the head of the fire.

“The head fire is what moves the fastest,” McCoy said. “When you see a fire rolling across a field, that’s the head fire and then everything on the back side, yes it’s dangerous, but it’s not going to move and run like the head fire does.”


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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