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Freedom Hill Volunteer Fire Department prepares for wildfires

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 6/14/2013 8:36 am Published: 6/13/2013 9:12 pm

Thousands of acres of land in Mannford were charred and hundreds of homes were destroyed during the fires that ravaged the area last summer.

The Freedom Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s resources were tapped last year.

"It taxed all of our equipment," said Fire Chief Kevin Smythe.

Smythe told FOX23 that he is holding his breath as the area approaches fire season.

"I don't ever want to imagine going through that again," said Smythe.

Smythe said the Freedom Hill Volunteer Fire Department will be better equipped to handle fires this summer after recent renovations. An 80/20 grant provided by the Oklahoma State Forestry allowed them to build a 3,200-square-foot building that will house classrooms, bunkers and new equipment.

"Recouping from the fires last year, we have replaced all of the damaged equipment and upgraded the trucks and have put new water pumps on them,” Smythe said.

Smythe estimates the fire department still needs $10,000 to complete the building. He anticipates that the building will be finished sometime in the summer months.

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