By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
A little more than three months into 2014, and Ellis County Rural Fire already has responded to the nearly the same amount of fires fought in all of 2013.
According to Fire Director Dick Klaus, crews have responded to 74 calls and 47 fires this year compared to 52 fires in 2013.
The department, according to Klaus’ report to the Ellis County Commission Monday night, received 41 calls in March, more than any month last year.
Klaus said the workload is weighing on the department’s equipment. He said last Wednesday three trucks went down fighting a fire, but two of the three are back up and running.
Of the nearly 50 fires, 24 have been label suspicious by the department.
Despite all of the work early in the year, Klaus said the crew’s morale is “doing fine.”