Keep sidewalks, driveways and…fire hydrants clean?

Fire Hydrant in snow

ALBERT LEA, Minn. — With all the snow that fell Thursday, your job was probably clearing sidewalks and driveways, but there is something else you might want to add to the list.

Area fire departments are asking that you take some time to shovel around fire hydrants.

“What we ask is if you have the ability to clean out your hydrant to give us at least two feet around the hydrant so that we can actually wrap our hose to catch it,” said Captain Mark Roche of the Albert Lea Fire Department.

He said the city helps them dig out the hydrants around town but they are busy with streets and sidewalks. The fire department starts clearing in commercial areas first because that is the biggest risk of large fires.

Crews say that they always have a water supply on their trucks, but it can run out if they are dealing with a large fire.

For everyone’s safety, they want to find them quickly.

“We know where most of the hydrants are, but the exact, to try and dig in and find them gets to be difficult. We have the city crews help us but as we can see on a day like today they’ve got to be working for at least a good week trying to clear out the snow,” Roche said.

He said it is also important to find them fast this time of year because of fire risk. People are using many different fuel sources and the wind causes even more problems.

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