Large Brush/Field Fire
By Assistant Chief Christopher Harris
March 11, 2017

Box 5-19. At 11:23 hrs, Station 8 units were dispatched as part of a “Brush Task Force” to assist Station 5 units on a brush/field fire at 1313 Baust Church Rd. Sergeant Jay Trankley (Station 5) had established “Baust Church Rd. Command” with a large area of open field and multiple piles of agricultural debris on fire with moderate winds quickly fanning the fires progression.

Brush 85, Engine 81 and Engine/Tanker 84 responded within minutes. On arrival, crews and units were sent to different areas to catch up with and extinguish the fast moving fire. As more assistance arrived, crews were able to get ahead of the situation quickly and extinguished the fire. The piles of debris were also extinguished and Class 'A' foam was applied to insure they were completely out.

The fire was caused by “controlled burns” that quickly went uncontrolled due to the extremely dry vegetation and high winds. Units began to be released a short time later, as the fire were extinguished. There were no injuries.

It should be noted, that with the current conditions in our area, fire danger levels are at an elevated level. The National Weather Service and the Maryland DNR, publish a daily fire danger report. Anytime the danger levels are moderate to high, it is not a good idea to burn anything, even burn barrels. Embers blowing in the breeze/wind can quickly start much larger, uncontrolled fires.

Units: B-55, E/T-54, E-52, Ut-5, M-58 (Taneytown); B-65, E-61, TT-6 (Pleasant Valley); B-85, E-81, E/T-84 (Union Bridge); E-112 (Harney);
AC E-201 (Littlestown); B-105 (New Windsor); B-35 (Westminster)

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