Since March 1, our island’s firefighters — Guam Fire Department, Department of Agriculture Forestry, Navy and federal firefighters — along with the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 have stood at the front lines of more than 300 fires.

Oftentimes, their work meant standing in extremely hot and humid weather for an entire day while wearing gear that serves to protect them from the harsh heat of the fires.

Thankfully, no damage or serious injuries have been reported.

As we watch firefighters’ efforts to protect lives, homes, schools and businesses, we appreciate their tenacity and dedication. They often navigate difficult terrain in the sun, while wearing 30 to 50-plus pounds of gear and facing skin-curdling flames. But we don’t always say, "Thank you." Today, we take time out to tell our first responders, "Thank you for the job you do and for facing the dangers so that we don’t have to."

We would like to raise a point with the community. As we were told by the fire department, there are many possible causes for brush and grass fires. Arson, unauthorized controlled burning and discarded cigarettes are just a few of those possible causes, sparking fires that consume acres of our beautiful island.

While we hope for some respite from the heat in the coming weeks, meteorologists say all indications point to about another month of very little rain, blazing sun, and slightly breezy conditions – the perfect recipe for fires to spread.

GFD continues to remind the public that burning of any type during the dry season and in windy conditions is prohibited.

While our firefighters are real-life heroes, they also need our help to keep lives safe. Let’s all do our part – properly discard your cigarettes in ashtrays or other receptacles, and don’t burn trash at home. If you see someone starting a fire outdoors for any reason – report it – take a picture and call 911.

Recommended for you