'Keep the Wreath Green' campaign raises awareness about winter firesSubmitted: 12/01/2019
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin

'Keep the Wreath Green' campaign raises awareness about winter fires
MERRILL - Christmas trees and string lights bring the holidays to life for some. However, first responders say those decorations can raise the risk of winter fires. 

The Merrill Fire Department wants people to know what they can do to prevent house fires this season.

To raise awareness within the community, the department kicked off its annual "Keep the Wreath Green" campaign the day after Thanksgiving. 

The wreath features several green light bulbs that will be replaced by red ones for each fire the department responds to from now until New Year's.

"Even though we're here 365 days a year, 24 hours a day to respond to those emergencies we spend just as much time trying to prevent them to begin with," said Battalion Chief Jon Leiskau.

Leiskau said the wreath serves as a visual reminder to the community to watch out holiday hazards that can cause fires. 

Dried-out Christmas trees, overloaded electrical outlets, stove tops and candles can all be cause for concern.

According to Leiskau, the wreath did stay green in 2018. The only exception: a lone white and blue bulb which represent fallen firefighters and police.

Several area fire departments including the Wausau Fire Department will also take part in the campaign.

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