Fewer red bulbs in ‘Keep the Wreath Green’ Campaign

3 structure fires in area in December

Area fire departments are ringing in the New Year with fewer structure fires in the area thanks to a successful public awareness campaign.

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the La Crosse, La Crescent, Onalaska, and Town of Campbell Fire Departments had a wreath up on their fire stations.

Whenever there was a structure fire in the area, a light bulb in the wreath changed from green to red.

This year only three bulbs changed, which is down from seven last year.

Firefighters say families are taking awareness campaigns like this seriously.

They’re checking smoke detectors regularly, making a fire escape plan, and coming up with other creative fire safety reminders.

“If you’re baking cookies, seniors have told me this. They keep an oven mitt with them, and if they walk away out of the kitchen, the oven mitt will remind them that they have food in the oven,” said Onalaska Fire Assistant Chief Troy Gudie.

There are other tips on fire safety and prevention, such as cleaning chimneys and giving space heaters space at the National Fire Protection Association’s website, www.nfpa.org/education.