Theodore Dawes


Chief’s Tailboard Talk for April 2024

Greetings Theodore Dawes Communities,

Spring has sprung and the pollen covers our communities like dust from the Sierra Desert. I hope you are dealing well with the issues the pollen brings: allergy flair ups, itchy watery eyes, and runny noses to name a few. We sprang forward once again on our clocks. I really wish those who make the decisions over the whole daylight savings time thing would decide on this matter once and for all. Just as a reminder, this is a good time to test those smoke alarms and replace batteries if necessary. Smoke alarms have been proven as the number one best tool to alert occupants in the event they have a fire in their home. If you do not have one, reach out to TDFR, as we have a program in which we can provide you with a smoke alarm and install it. If you happen to reside in a rental property and do not have one, reach out to your landlord, as they are required to have smoke detectors in their rental properties.

As we embark into April and the spring of the year, everyone likes to get out and clean their yards, in their homes and sheds. I want to take this time to remind everyone about safe burning. First things first, whenever you intend to burn, you need to be prepared to stay with your fire and have a means to keep it under control and a way to extinguish it if necessary. You should not burn on windy days because it only takes a minute for a small fire to become a larger fire and quickly get out of your control. Alabama law holds you accountable for any damage your fire may cause if you lose control over it. That includes structures and forest lands. Again, always stay with your fire and have a means to control/extinguish it, only burn vegetative material that originated on your property, and always keep fires at least 50 feet from any structures. Never burn household garbage, wiring, plastics, or chemicals. They give off noxious and often poisonous gases, plus their odor is unpleasant. Always be respectful of your neighbors. Often, your neighbors like to open up their homes to let some fresh spring air into the house and the smell of burning rubbish is not what they want infiltrating their home. I suspect you wouldn’t either. I will also remind everyone that when April ends, the ADME (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) burn ban goes into effect on May 1st . You do not want to have to tangle with ADEM and the U.S. Clean Air Act. They don’t mess around with complaints and repeat offenders. Their fines are expensive!

On another note, we are still jumping through hoops with our Station 4 project on Three Notch Rd at Ben Hamilton/McFarland Rd. We are getting closer to having our I’s dotted and T’s crossed so renovation of that facility can begin. We have also been getting some feedback from a mailing to the “Dawes North” area and hope to set up a community meeting in that area soon. Stay tuned to both as we keep pushing forward into 2024.

As always, we want to thank you all for allowing us to provide your fire and medical emergency services in our 38-square-mile area of Theodore Dawes Fire District.