Below Zero Temperatures Add More Challenges for Firefighters

SUPERIOR, Wis. – There are many challenges firefighters deal with at any fire scene.  Battling flames when temperatures are below zero adds a new factor of uncertainty.

Thursday’s warehouse fire on Superior’s north side occurred when temperatures were around 10-below.

Crews need to make sure their equipment does not freeze as water can quickly turn to ice once it leaves their hoses.

“The water coming out of the ground is 40-degrees,” says Superior Fire Chief Scott Gordon, “and when it’s 10-below, it makes ice really quick.”

“It sounds trivial but slips and falls are our biggest concerns when we are dealing with fires like this,” says Gordon. “Then frostbite.  Getting this water on your hands and your face and all of you are noticing standing here.  Imagine standing here right now with it being colder than this and splashing some water on you face.”

Chief Gordon adds extra effort is taken to rotate firefighters at the scene so they can stay warm and hydrated.

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