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Brush 31 put to work right away

Less than five hours into its first shift after being reemployed from a Wildfire Safety Grant from the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal, Lebanon Fire District dispatched its Brush 31 (B31) wildland firefighting apparatus to a first alarm brush fire in the 33000 block of Totem Pole Road on July 25.

First arriving responders found a slow-moving grass and brush fire, approximately one-acre in size. LFD responded with 25 personnel on 11 apparatus and was assisted by the Oregon Department of Forestry with five additional personnel. The fire was controlled within 2.5 hours, though some crews remained on scene for an additional 5.5 hours to make sure no hotspots rekindled.

After speaking with property owners, it was determined that stumps and other debris in the area of the fire had been burned in the spring, during burn season. The cause of the fire was determined to be from possible holdover from those previous burns. The Lebanon Fire District would like to remind property owners that stump burning can remain hot for months after the initial burn and reignite during these hot and dry seasons. It is imperative to keep a close eye on areas that have been recently burned.

One of the original goals of B31 was to “keep small fires small,” meaning that by arriving quickly and efficiently, fires are contained before they grow out of control. LFD staff believe the work was a perfect example of this goal succeeding. LFD is grateful for the staffing grant provided by the OSFM, as well as assistance from ODF battling the fire, and also for the Albany Fire Department for providing district coverage during the duration of the fire.