3 brush fires sparked near Hopewell school
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Apr 8, 2013, 12:53
JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Hopewell firefighters looks for hot spots after a small brush fire under power lines on Wednesday.
For the second time in a week, the Hopewell Fire Department has responded to a brush fire near Patrick Copeland Elementary School and Hopewell High School. While the fires have been minor and were able to be contained quickly, the fire department is now going to begin investigating.
Hopewell Fire Department Captain Chris Allin said Wednesday that the brush fires were small, about 150 by 50 feet, but it was imperative to get the fire under control quickly, due to the ground being especially dry and the wind had picked up by Wednesday afternoon.
A firefighter hoses down a burned area in the woods Wednesday.
Twelve firefighters were on scene Wednesday to contain the two small brush fires, using 2 and a half gallon water cans and water packs that hold four gallons. The two brush fires were contained in about 15 to 20 minutes.
“It’s a real dry surface, and with material like that, it doesn’t take long,” Allin said.
Though both schools were void of students due to spring break, Allin confirmed that even if the students were in the classrooms, there was no threat to either school and the schools would not have been evacuated.
This was the second small brush fire at the exact location in a short time. The other brush fire was reported last week. Allin said the fire department is now going to look into a cause and origin of the fires.
Though he could not say for sure, Allin speculated that the brush fires could be caused by installation that had fallen off the high tension power lines. He said the power lines are about 230,000 volts; the voltage on a standard car battery is about 12 volts.
JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Firefighters had to run hoses a few hundred feet back to where a fire was in the woods.
The fire department was on scene for about an hour. Allin said the crew was working to make sure the brush fires were not smoldering, and they were wetting down the areas around the fires to make sure there was no chance of it spreading.