Walz declares Fire Prevention Week, orders flags at half-staff

[anvplayer video=”5061295″ station=”998122″]

Gov. Tim Walz has declared that Oct. 3 through Oct. 9, 2021 is Fire Prevention Week, in accordance with a proclamation from President Joe Biden.

All flags must be flown at half-staff at all federal and state buildings in Minnesota in honor of firefighters and first responders, according to a press release. Part of the proclamation’s rationale is the increase of extreme weather and fires in the U.S.

“Already this year, more than 44,000 wildfires have burned nearly 5.3 million acres of land across the country, including in our state of Minnesota,” Walz’s proclamation reads.

As of Friday, the Greenwood Fire in Minnesota is 80% contained and officials speculate that it will be fully contained by Oct. 14.

According to a Friday briefing from President Biden, that area is about the size of the state of New Jersey.

Earlier this summer, Biden also raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour for federal firefighters.

“Fire Prevention Week honors our brave firefighters and first responders who risk their lives to protect us and reaffirms the importance of fire safety and preparedness," Walz said.

Biden also reminded Americans to educate themselves on fire safety and prevention.

According to the Red Cross, the best way to keep yourself safe is by installing smoke alarms on each level of your home and testing them monthly, as well as developing a fire escape plan with those you live with and practicing it twice a year.