UPDATED: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 10:10am
MAGNOLIA, Tx (KYLE) — Water is a firefighter's best friend when battling a blaze but getting that precious H2O to rural areas can often times pose a problem.
Now Montgomery County residents living in the country can feel a little bit safer.
The Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department now has access to nearly 15,000 gallons of water at any given time.
It's been more than a year since the Riley Road wildfire that engulfed 76 homes and more than 20,000 acres but the signs of devastation still remain today.
"It was a type one federal disaster so it was as bad as it gets," said Magnolia VFD fire chief, Gary Vincent.
The charred trees and empty lots, where homes used to stand, serve as a constant reminder to Chief Vincent that mother nature is unpredictable.
That's why the Magnolia VFD is now investing in four new water tanker trucks to add to its fleet.
"In a fire department there's very few things more important than water," said Chief Vincent. "If you don't have water then you cant put the fire out so we have to have a dependable water supply."
The four trucks, specifically designed to meet the needs of the department, will not only be able to carry 3,300 gallons of water each but also have the capabilities of spraying water as the truck is driven; a feature that makes it safer and more efficient.
"In the wildfire that we experienced, the flame front was more than 125 tall," Chief Vincent said. "In those kinds of fires we really need the ability to escape and save the firemen in the truck and this will be a big help."
The trucks, which should be in service by April, will have a life-span of about 20 years and cost the department around $2.2 million dollars.
But Chief Vincent says it's an investment that will pay for itself in the long run by making the entire community safer.