Grass Fire Sparks Burn Ban Reminder

Grass Fire Sparks Burn Ban Reminder

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Firefighters are urging people to follow the state's burn ban rules.

That follows a grass fire that had firefighters out in a Depauville field for hours Tuesday.

By the end, 10 acres of grass in a nature sanctuary burned.

It started around 3 p.m. and firefighters say it began when a nearby homeowner started a small fire in their yard.

"A little bit of wind takes a spark and you're in trouble," Depauville Firefighter Larry Girard said

Joseph Whitcomb lives next door to the field and tried to extinguish the fire himself before firefighters showed up.

"I got a call from my wife that the meadow was on fire next to the house and as I came down the road, I could see the smoke blowing in the sky and I knew it was out of control," he said. "My brother-in-law and I went out with our trusty fire brooms here and tried to fight it off, but we couldn't."

Eight departments responded, some with UTVs, so they could get through the trees and closer to the fire.

To make matters worse, the flames reached all the way back in the field and hit a timber pile. Firefighters had to smother it with dirt."

"Dirt is an excellent way to extinguish a fire and we couldn't get the water out there without laying a lot of hose line out to get to it," Girard said.

Girard says a little more wind and it could have turned into a forest fire.

There's a state burn ban in effect until May 14.

Girard has only one thing to say to homeowners: "Don't burn. Wait until after the burn ban. I know the grass is green and you won't be able to burn everything you wanted to, but don't burn."

The state Department of Environmental Conservation was notified. State officials will determine if there will be any consequences for the person who started the fire.

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