Weather Week: Fire and Wind Preparedness

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(NECN: Matt Noyes) – Fresh in the memories of New Englanders are the fateful moments on Boston’s Beacon Street from Wednesday, March 26, when Boston’s Fire Department and the New England community lost two of Boston’s courageous firefighters.

The raging inferno, ignited by welding sparks and fueled by a ferocious wind trapped the two men in a four-story brownstone.

Boston Fire Department Deputy Chief Bart Shea said, “The effects of the wind on that date was obviously significant and catastrophic for the fire department.”

Between buildings in the city, wind tunnels can develop and create rapidly changing conditions.

Fighting fires through adverse weather is common. Summer’s heat exhausts the body. Winter’s cold brings frostbite, ice-laden hoses and slippery hoses.

Wind is an especially dangerous foe in battling a fire. Wildland firefighters are trained to account for wind. Many structural fire departments recognize the impact, but standard operating doesn’t take speed or direction into account.

More New England communities will be examining the response to fire in windy weather.

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