By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — When the Boyceville Community Fire Department is responding to a fire, firefighters would just as soon not to have to stop to trim or cut down trees before they can get to the fire.
In the rural areas of the fire district, trees along driveways can sometimes be a problem, said Dan Knops, assistant fire chief, at the Boyceville Community Fire District’s July 15 meeting.
In some cases, trees are growing next to a driveway or are leaning over a driveway, and the fire trucks cannot get through, he said.
Instead of responding to a fire as quickly as possible, firefighters are then faced with wasting valuable time while they cut down trees or trim branches, Knops said.
Driveway clearance to allow the fire trucks access should be at least ten feet wide with branches cleared to 12 feet or more above the road, he said.
Matt Feeney, Boyceville ambulance director and a deputy with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, noted that area residents should also make sure their fire numbers are easily visible.
If trees or brush — or perhaps even tall weeds — are covering the fire number, rescue personnel and law enforcement can also waste valuable time trying to find the right place, Feeney said.
In some instances, people have hung balloons or streamers on their fire numbers to mark the location of a graduation party or a family reunion, he said.
Decorations obscuring the fire number can make it more difficult to find the right place as well, Feeney said.
The fire numbers “are easy to miss if you can’t see them very well,” he said.