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Annual ‘Keep the Wreath Green’ reminds the community about fire safety during the holidays

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LA CROSSE, Wis. - (WXOW) - For the 10th annual year, four Coulee Region fire departments are participating in 'Keep the Wreath Green.'

It is a collaboration between four Coulee Region Fire Departments-La Crescent, Onalaska, Campbell, and La Crosse. Their goal is to raise public fire awareness and educate about fire safety and prevention during the holiday season.

All four will have large wreaths outside their fire departments covered in green bulbs. If any of the communities have a fire during the holiday season, they will replace one of the bulbs with a red one.

This season is one of the highest risk for fires because of the holidays.

"There is really compelling data that shows that the holiday season really from Thanksgiving through the New Year is the time of the year that most communities face the highest number of fires," said Pat Corran, Community Risk Educator with the La Crosse Fire Department.

Corran says most of the fires they see around this time of the year are related to cooking.

"Cooking is the number one reason for home fires across the country. It really comes down to inattentive cooking where people will get something going on the stove top and then the phone will ring, or a friend will call them away, or a package will come to the door," said Corran.

He said they also see fires related to decorations and candles because there are more out during the holidays. They hope the wreaths remind people to be careful when cooking and doing other holiday activities.

The wreaths are now hung at all four fire departments. In La Crosse, they will be at Stations 3 and 4. The other three departments will have them out front as well.

They recommend making sure that your home has a working smoke alarm and that regular tests are done to ensure safety for everyone in the home.

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Rylie Kyhn

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