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September 23, 2017

A destructive mix: cedars, wind and fire


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Woodcrest Fire Captain Chris Wilder takes another response call after checking hotspots of a grassfire on Charter Oak Monday morning.

They rushed to another call before we could ask how the grass fire might have started. But the Woodcrest volunteer fire department made quick work of extinguishing the flames on Charter Oak Road just east of Luther Road early this morning.

Woodcrest Fire Captain Chris Wilder said an estimated 15 acres were charred. No one was hurt and no structures were damaged. He said they got the call sometime around 5 am, just minutes after returning to the firehouse. The crew returned to check on hotspots late this morning. This was after some neighbors trekked the area with a shovel and rake, burying smoldering cedar trees. It’s how country folks do.

Capt. Wilder said their just completed call was an accident on I-35. Then they responded to Charter Oak, and left that for another call. That’s big coverage. Woodcrest, housed at Douglas and Charter Oak, serves an area from I-35 all the way to Pottawatomie Road and  Waterloo Road north to about Forest Hills Road. According to Woodcrest’s website, some residents pay for coverage through property taxes, others subscribe and others get a bill for services.

Fence row cedar trees, cut, abandoned and left to dry out on the road side, could have helped the spread of a morning grassfire on Charter Oak Road.

Fence row cedar trees, cut, abandoned and left to dry out on the road side, could have helped the spread of a morning grassfire on Charter Oak Road.

Not sure who will pay the bill for this fire. It was on pasture-land owned by a nearby resident. Although the fire department has not given a cause, neighbors wonder if the cedar trees that were cut along the fence row months ago and left on the roadside to dry out might have helped spread the fire from whatever sparked it early Monday.

With such dry conditions and high winds – it’s the time of year when all fire departments are working over time (word is they all like cookies, brownies or anything to let them know they are appreciated), and all of us should be on high fire alert and wary of using any flame. Seriously, and no cigarettes flipped out the windows.

A Woodcrest fire truck checked on hotspots late morning.

A Woodcrest fire truck checked on hotspots late morning.

 

 

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