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Borderland braces for freezing temperatures
By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas--A freeze warning was in effect for parts of southern New Mexico and west Texas Wednesday night and lasted through 9 a.m. Thursday.
That means people are starting to use their space heaters at night, which means fire season is upon us.
Firefighters tell KFOX14 the freezing temperatures force some people to do things they probably shouldn't be doing.
West El Pasoan Samantha Mitchel tells KFOX14 she carries her terrier mix named Bella almost everywhere she goes.
"I didn't think it would be this cold but she has a sweater and she stays inside," said Mitchell.
For the first time this season, parts of the borderland were under a freeze warning.
Mitchell tells KFOX14, she's not prepared for the cold months ahead.
"I just moved back about a year ago from Florida and it doesn't get too cold like this," said Mitchell.
Others told KFOX14 they don't seem to mind the cold one bit
"It's better at least for me. It's very good for me," said Juarez resident Gloria Sandoval.
During the cold season, firefighters also see an increase in house fires.
Most of them are caused by space heaters being used improperly.
Some people tell KFOX14 they would rather not use them at all.
"The electricity bill goes up, everybody is hurting for money. It's better off getting a couple of blankets and bundling up," said El Pasoan Justin West.
Firefighters recommend turning off space heaters at night.
When turned on, they should be at least three feet away from anything flammable, and sit on a hard surface.
"I'm pretty sure that there are people that don't follow these things," said west El Paso resident Jaime Zamora.
People can also get free blankets by dialing 211.
The Extreme Weather Task Force says they provide blankets to anyone who qualifies.
The task force is always collecting blankets during the cold season.
People can drop them off at any El Paso fire department.
Also, don't forget to check on your pets.
"I would just make sure to bring those (dogs) inside. Keep them warm because they get cold," said Mitchell.
For safety tips visit the El Paso Fire Department website.