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Brush fire quickly contained

Firefighters responded to a brush fire yesterday morning at 11:30 on the property of Dave Woomer in Snyder Township.
According to Bald Eagle Fire Chief Scott Illig, the fire started after Woomer lost control of a controlled burning of skids and other odds and ends. Illig said the wind was a contributing factor.
“We had firefighters from Bald Eagle, the Citizens and a couple guys from the Hookies come in their own vehicles,” said Illig. “The helicopter from the Department of Forestry was called but wasn’t needed. “We had the fire under control in about a half hour.”
With the fire taking place midday, quick response helped contain the fire into two acres.
“We had 10 guys fighting the fire,” said Illig. “About one-third of the fire was a grassy field and two-thirds was in the woods. Once a brush fire hits the woods, it makes it very tough to fight right now. You have the leaves that catch and help the fire spread. The leaves can get a fire going pretty fast.”
Illig credited Mother Nature and her helpful hand.
“We had some help from the wind,” said Illig. “The wind was swirling and not getting big gusts in one direction. When you get a gust that sends the fire strong in one direction, it makes it tougher to fight. We were able to surround it yesterday and get it out.”
With spring time finally arriving, many people are starting to burn leaves from their yards, but Illig cautions that practice.
“The conditions are severe for brush fires,” said Illig. “You could be burning in a barrel and one spark can float 100 yards away and catch something on fire. People need to burn cautiously this year. There are fines being issued for people who accidentally start brush fires.”
The Bald Eagle Fire Department responds to a few local brush fires per year.
“We respond to about a half-a-dozen brush fires a year,” said Illig. “We had great help from the Citizens with their brush truck and we also got help from the AMED responders who helped rake things up. Bellwood and Tipton were on stand-by in case we needed more help. We have been called to help other companies deal with brush fires in their areas. If we are called, we are there to serve. Almost every volunteer fire company you see is like that. They are willing to do what they can to serve the public interest.”