Sub-zero temperatures create extra challenges for fire crews responding to blazes

(Fargo, ND) -- The sub-zero temperatures dominating the weather picture across the FM metro create extra challenges for fire crews responding to blazes.

"the winter weather can make it difficult as everybody knows. I mean everything from driving to the scene is slowed down, and then working on the scene can be more difficult, just the traction, simply as trying to walk and pull a hose line and then obviously the cold affects everything we're trying to do with the hose lines, you know with things freezing up, it's hard on equipment, that type of stuff," said Fargo Fire Marshall Ryan Erickson.

Erickson says when conditions are frigid, fire departments will send extra crews to help work fire scenes, so firefighters can rotated more quickly from fighting fires. That allows them to be "rehabbed" more quickly so they're ready to respond the next time they're called out. 

Crews responded to an apartment fire in Fargo Wednesday morning, when the non wind-chill temperature was at 13 below. 

Erickson says homeowners can also help support the work of fire crews during the winter season by clearing snow from around fire hydrants. 

"One of the ways to help out crews when they respond to this is making sure your hydrant is clear, so whether it's in your yard, your neighbor's yard. In my neighborhood we take turns at it, that whoever is out goes and makes sure that it is clear," said Erickson.