CHENEY, Wash. — Crews with the Department of Natural Resources and veteran fire responders fired up their chainsaws and wood chippers to clear out a large field in a Cheney neighborhood area.

“We’re doing a little bit of thinning work. We’re trying to bring some awareness to wildfire safety in the community,” said Darrell Loeffler, one of the crewmembers.

The crews started working early Saturday morning and continued their work through the late afternoon.

“We’re taking out the big dead trees that could potentially be a hazard in the future. We’re also working on letting the smaller trees get as many nutrients as they can,” Loeffler said.

Wildfires thrive in fields crowded with trees and thick brush, so the crews are working to get rid of what helps spread the flames.

“What that does is prevents ladder fuels from happening, which is when the smaller trees catch the bigger trees on fire,” he said.

He said it’s the dry debris and flammable plants that are most dangerous.

The crews also had members from the community working to help them clear the field.