Tire Fires

With the recent events that occurred Friday night, 1/24/2020, at North of the Boarder (NOTB) the PD has been in full investigative mode. This means that all officers are working on leads, taking phone calls, emails and working every tip that comes in. The community has thrown their support (rightfully so) around the store owners who are residents, tax payers and a part of our community. As I was at home and getting alerts of two tire fires that happened in town, one early Sunday morning at around 1:32 am and the other at 10:38 pm, I am brought to the realization of how bothered I am by these continued events.

Here, we have a major incident in town and all of the department resources going toward solving this but now we have to divert services to deal with a completely senseless act. Services of BOTH the police and fire are taken to opposite ends of town causing unnecessary response. Now there will also be a fee associated with repair work to the road (as the heat of the fire caused damage) that will undoubtedly end up in tax dollar revenue of some kind. At what point does this “harmless” act become something more then what it is portrayed as? It is always nothing, until it is…

In the year of 2019 we responded to 14 tire fires throughout the town. In the last few years, we have had two specific incidents where people have sustained damage to their vehicle because of these tire fires. Imagine, your family is traveling home with your young child sleeping in the back seat. You see something in the road, but it is dark (as almost every tire fire is after dark) you are trying to see what it is – animal, vehicle – what is it? You realize it is debris of some sort, you jam on the brakes and try to avoid it but strike it causing damage to your car. You get out and call for help and when the dispatcher asks what you struck in the road, you realize it was a pile of tires stacked in the middle of the travel lane in the road.

How have we as a community gotten to the point where this is considered acceptable behavior? Take these incidents at their core for what they are…. Arson.

ar·son/ˈärs(ə)n/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1. the criminal act of deliberately setting fire to property.”police are treating the fire as arson”

Each time one of these event are done you have someone committing an arson. Any time damage to the road is done, now you have another criminal act – Vandalism

van·dal·ism/ˈvandlˌizəm/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1. action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.”an act of mindless vandalism

So at what point does it come to an end? When someone loses a life over them? Either the arsonist trying to light the fire and it causes an explosion of the various chemicals used to ignite the fire? Is it the innocent passerby that is reporting it just as the fuels finally ignite and they are injured? One life is too great of a cost for something so senseless, and too many lives have been lost in town due to senseless actions that have happened in town over the years.