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25 acres burn; fireworks may have been the cause

Thursday, July 6, 2006

HOT FIRE: Dan Sutherland with the Camp Volunteer Fire Department helps fight a woods fire near Glencoe that burned approximately 25 acres.
Fireworks could have been the cause of a fire that burned 25 acres near Glencoe on July 2, according to Agnos, Glencoe, Heart Fire Chief Jerry Holloway.

Firefighters braved 100-degree temperatures July 2 to fight a woods fire in the Squirrel Hill Road area. No homes were damaged but the fire came within 30 feet of two houses and an abandoned trailer house before the fire was contained.

Jerry Holloway, fire chief, said the cause of the fire has not been determined but says fireworks was the probable cause.

"Some of the residents in that area heard gunshot sounds which most likely was fireworks," he said. "Several things have led us to believe that the fire started in a draw and probably smoldered for quite some time before the actual fire began to burn.

"I can't emphasize enough how important it is to be cautious when you are shooting fireworks off. The woods are really dry right now and it doesn't take much to start a fire," he said.

Tom Harris, owner of one of the homes in the path of the fire, said it was difficult trying to find the fire.

"I could smell smoke when I came home from church around noon," Harris said. "I could smell it but I couldn't see anything. We thought someone was burning leaves. About 2 p.m. the smoke in our yard was pretty dense. I drove around our road and still couldn't see any flames. Since it was burning up a hill it was pretty close to our house before we saw any flames. The firefighters and forestry did a great job stopping the fire, especially in this heat."

Officials say the high temperatures and little rainfall create a dangerous situation and caution anyone who is planning to do any burning to take appropriate precautions.

Firefighters responding from the Agnos, Glencoe, Heart Volunteer Fire Department were Holloway, Doug Shepherd, James "Butch" Eldried, Kenneth Eldried, Mark Miller and Larry Grass; from the forestry service, Troy Franks and Leonard Clements; and from the Camp Fire Department, Dan Sutherland.

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