North Texas firefighters say strong winds and unusually dry conditions are making it more difficult to fight fires.
There were at least six fires in North Texas over the weekend, and strong winds helped make many of those blazes more intense and dangerous.
Battalion Chief Richard Harrison with the Fort Worth Fire Department said fire crews are aware of the potential dangers.
"The wind conditions compound the problem. Fire will spread faster, get into areas we’re not anticipating. Firefighters are aware of this," Harrison said. "The Chiefs are out there understanding the conditions. We call in resources in earlier. Get more units out there so they can get ahead of the fire before the wind takes control."
The hotter temperatures also present a challenge for firefighters.
"Everyone in the field is conditioned for this. They know the importance of staying hydrated," Harrison said. "Rotation is a big key. In the winter, they might be able to go 15 or 20 minutes. In summer, we’re looking at 5,10 minute rotations before we’re getting new guys in."
Luckily, North Texas fire crews are trained for the summer conditions.
"There’s an acclimation when the heat comes. We all just take a deep breath when we know it’s coming. We can prepare for it, but you have to just work through it the first few times when it’s hot out there," Harrison said.
A fire at an apartment complex in White Settlement displaced 49 people Sunday. The fire chief said his firefighters had a handle on the blaze at one point but then the winds picked up again and the fire spread.
Five other fires burned in Dallas, Tarrant and Wise counties over the weekend.
In Wise County, three firefighters are recovering from heat-related issues while battling a scrap yard fire in Bridgeport on Saturday.
A man in Arlington was critically injured Sunday when his apartment near AT&T Stadium caught fire.
A day before, a different fire at the South Campus apartments near the University of Texas at Arlington forced 40 people from their homes.
On Saturday, a fire in Oak Cliff killed a man. Firefighters discovered his body inside a house on North Clinton Avenue.
Another weekend blaze in East Dallas on Chilton Drive sent a firefighter to the hospital with serious burns. The Dallas Fire Department acknowledges the firefighter was burned but said he was able to talk to paramedics.
His family has asked to keep his name private. The injured firefighter has been receiving visitors at the hospital.