ST. CLOUD - The number of fires in St. Cloud hit a five year low last year.  Fire Chief Bill Mund has released the latest annual report.

The number of fires in St. Cloud was 207 in 2011, down from 250 the year before.

Seventy-two percent of the fires in St. Cloud were cooking fires, which is by far the number one reason for residential fires.  Mund says there are a number of reasons why we're seeing a decrease in the number of fire calls.

However, while the number of fire calls has gone down, the total number of responses by the St. Cloud Fire Department continues to rise.  They responded to nearly 4,300 total incidents last year, up from 4,000 in 2010.  Most of their calls are for Emergency Medical incidents.

Mund has just released the city's fire report for both 2010 and 2011.  Mund says the fire at Fire Station #3 in October of 2010, and moving their dispatch operations over to Stearns County in May of 2011, have kept his staff busy.

Mund says his next goal is to create a new strategic plan for the department in 2013.

Mund says the St. Cloud Fire Department has 63 assigned firefighters right now, that's three fewer than in 2010.  The number is lower due to the move of the dispatch system over to Stearns County.