Cold weather season keeps the La Crosse Fire Department busy

Cold weather season can make it difficult for the La Crosse Fire Department.

“The colder winter months we see an increase in the number of structure fires and house fires,” La Crosse Fire Department community risk educator Pat Corran said.

The department says La Crosse averages between 20 to 30 house fires between November and February. But they saw more than usual last year.

“November through, let’s say the end of February, yeah we went on 38 house fires,” Corran said.

Corran says Wisconsin residents can sometimes use too much heat in their homes.

“Often times electrical circuits get overloaded,” Corran said.

Especially when space heaters are not used properly.

“Often times these space heaters pull the energy and the power strip itself gets overloaded and that be the cause of starting a fire,” Corran said.

But the number one cause is cooking related. The U.S. Fire Administration says about 52 percent of house fires are caused by cooking incidents.

“You get distracted easily,” Corran said. “So always be making sure we’re paying attention when you’re cooking, that you don’t leave an unattended stove.”

This cold weather season, there have already been 20 house fires in Wisconsin.

“That’s not surprising at all just because these colder temperatures have come on quickly,” Corran said.

To try and prevent more of these happening, Corran says the department is focusing on educating the community.

“We’re expanding our efforts to look at more of an all hazards approach,” Corran said. “So just more public life and public safety education.”

All to make the area safer.

“Anything we can do to just try to make the city healthier and safer, that’s the mission,” Corran said.

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.