Brush fire burns woods

Beacon Falls firefighter Tim Hanks, front, and fellow firefighters work to put out a brush fire in the woods off of Skokorat Road in Beacon Falls Monday. –BEACON HOSE

Beacon Falls firefighter Tim Hanks, front, and fellow firefighters work to put out a brush fire in the woods off of Skokorat Road in Beacon Falls Monday. –BEACON HOSE

BEACON FALLS — A brush fire burned more than an acre of woodlands off of Skokorat Road Monday.

Beacon Hose Company No. 1 members, who were in the area, noticed smoke rising from the woods at about 10 a.m., Fire Chief Jim Trzaski said. Fire crews were dispatched immediately. However, he said, due to the hilly terrain of the area, it took firefighters approximately two hours to find the location of the fire.

Firefighters finally found the fire burning about 1.5 acres of land on top of a cliff approximately 450 feet above South Main Street, Trzaski said.

Once the fire was located, firefighters had to figure out how to get water to the location to put it out.

Trzaski said the department borrowed 3,000 feet of fire hose from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Firefighters ultimately ran 1.2 miles of hose from a fire hydrant on Hockanum Glen Road to the fire. Due to the length of the hose, the department had to place a pumper truck halfway between the fire and the hydrant to ensure there was enough water pressure, he said.

Firefighters started extinguishing the fire at 6:30 p.m., more than eight hours after they received the call, Trzaski said.

Although the fire itself was extinguished fairly quickly, the department had to continue to work to ensure the ground was thoroughly soaked.

“Because of drought conditions the fire burned 6 to 8 inches underground,” Trzaski said.

The department was on the scene until 10 p.m. Monday and back on the scene Tuesday morning to make sure it was completely extinguished.

Trzaski said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, the area is used as a campsite where people have fires, he said.

“Even though people think they have it extinguished the fire it can still burn underground,” Trzaski said.

Trzaski warned people against having campfires during this drought.

“I want to caution residents that even though we got rain, conditions are still quite severe when it is this dry. Although people can have fires in fire pits, in the wilderness the ground underneath the fire will smolder for up to a week,” Trzaski said.