ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Big Country has seen its fair share of 100° days. The hot, dry conditions have created the perfect weather for wildfires, and the Abilene Fire Department (AFD) has not missed a beat throughout the busy summer.

AFD’s Deputy Chief (DCI) for Support Services, Joey Kincaid, said the department has been busy responding to calls.

“We try to be out of the station within 40 seconds after the tone hits. The fires do pick up when it’s hot like this. Grassfires; we’ve been having a few more each day. They’re kind of ticking up as things dry out,” said DCI Kincaid.

Not only are crews fighting fires and heat from those flames, but also the triple digit temperatures.

“You’re wearing, basically, a winter coat anytime you’re out fighting fires. Its designed to keep heat off of us, but it also keeps heat in doing that. So, the guys get hot and that’s a normal part of it, but in this extreme heat we have to be a bit more mindful of the guys,” DCI Kincaid shared.

A field resource medic is expected to respond to every major call, creating a ‘rehab’ for crews. This is typically a shaded area with chairs, water, electrolytes, and snacks for firefighters to refuel.

Firefighter and paramedic, Eli Hoover, told KTAB/KRBC hydration is key to prevent any heat-related illness.

“Making sure we have a good space for people to come in to rehab, get a cold drink of water, sit down, and get their hot gear off, sit down and rest, before they have to get back to work especially on those hot days,” explained Hoover.

DCI Kincaid continued to add on, “That’s kind of an accepted 30 minutes to 40 minutes is kind of where their comfort zone of work. We might pull them out a little quicker when they get the fire knocked down, not keep them in until the full vital change or just rotate the crews, send more guys in to help and assist.”