A fire hydrant in the snow along Glacier Highway on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A fire hydrant in the snow along Glacier Highway on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

CCFR: Clear your hydrants and help your neighbors

Lend a hand to your neighbors and your emergency personnel.

A Capital City Fire/Rescue assistant chief asked Juneau residents to keep their fire hydrants clear of snow as winter sets in in earnest.

“We do encourage people to adopt their fire hydrant, keep it cleared out and keep it shoveled,” CCFR Assistant Chief Travis Mead said. “If there’s a fire on their street, it’s a lot quicker to get to a water source.”

Mead said that winter often poses difficulties for CCFR, with snow and icy driveways impeding access for emergency personnel.

“We see a higher potential for fire in the winter,” Mead said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I’d say wintertime you have the potential, because there’s heating appliances being used.”

Jeff Thole clears the sidewalk on snow in front of Louie’s Douglas Inn on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jeff Thole clears the sidewalk on snow in front of Louie’s Douglas Inn on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

He also recommended keeping chimneys swept out and safe, referring to a fire last month where a poorly cleared chimney led to a residential fire.

Mead also encouraged people to look out for their neighbors when shoveling snow, and to be careful of icy roads and sidewalks. Falling casualties routinely increase during the winter, Mead said, recommending that people wear appropriate footwear for the ice.

“Snow, especially wet snow, is heavy. It’s very exerting to clear it, it’s a lot of work,” Mead said. “I recommend that people watch themselves and know their limitations. But also help out your neighbors.”

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