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Roanoke Fire-EMS asking residents to clear off snow-covered fire hydrants

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke Fire-EMS and the Western Virginia Water Authority are asking for your help.

The agencies say when cleanup and plowing begin after a big snow, fire hydrants are at risk of being covered up. They're asking that if you have a fire hydrant nearby to take a few minutes and clear the area around it -- that way fire crews can see them and access them easily if there is an emergency.

"It can make a huge difference. We say that fire can double in size every minute so every minute lost as we're trying to find a buried fire hydrant is crucial," said David Guynn, fire marshal for the city of Roanoke. 

Many firetrucks do carry water but it is limited so one of the first tasks for crews when they arrive at a fire is to locate a water supply from the nearest hydrant.