A valuable new addition to The Bahamas High Banks Fire Station is a weather station. This weather station, which stands atop the very smart looking firehouse building, was presented to the High Banks Volunteer Fire Service for their participation in a Prescribed Burning Training from October 27 to November 4 last year.
This training exercise was put on by The Bahamas Forestry Unit and The Nature Conservancy. The firehouse was used as the staging point for the fire training activities. On the final day of training the High Banks Volunteer Fire Service was presented with the weather station by Dr. Joseph O’Brien one of the five training instructors. Dr. O’Brien is the fire team leader of the Center for Fire Disturbance Science, United States Department of Agriculture Forestry Service.
Several years ago Dr. O’Brien placed temperature sensors in underground parrot nests in the pine forest of South Abaco before a prescribed burn to see what effect forest fires had on nesting parrots. After the burn and looking at the information of the sensors he was able to determine that fire had no adverse effects on nesting parrots.
The weather station is mounted on the roof of the firehouse and reads in real time, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity and rainfall. It is connected to the Weather Underground website and can be seen on the following link:
High Banks Fire Chief, Bruce Smith, explained that the weather station gives real time local Bahama Palm Shores weather which can be different from the weather in other locations throughout Abaco. This is therefore very helpful when planning outdoor activities such as boating and fishing.
Mr. Smith says that the weather station is a great plus for the High Banks Volunteer Fire Service. It records wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, temperature and accumulated rainfall all of which are key elements in predicting the behavior of bush fires. When windy and dry conditions prevail the likelihood of bush fires increases dramatically.
“I usually check the station a couple of times a week and I hear that other Bahama Palm Shores residents do also. We are very pleased to have it,” stated Fire Chief Smith.