More than 500 acres of grassland burned Saturday in a fire near Jamestown that took about 4 hours to get under control and involved four fire departments.
The fire was reported at 4:42 p.m. at 30th Street and 80th Avenue Southeast, about 6 miles northeast of Jamestown, said Rick Woehl, assistant chief of the Jamestown Rural Fire Department.
“That was definitely a significant fire,” he said. “It started in a ditch alongside the road.”
The Jamestown Rural Fire Department responded with nine units, ultimately asking for more help when it became necessary, Woehl said.
“We had made a couple attempts to get the main fire line stopped but ... the terrain was pretty rough right there,” he said. “So accessibility with the vehicles was limited. And due to the wind conditions at the time, the main fire line was growing - it was growing wider and moving forward at a rate of speed that the nine units we had ... we weren’t able to stop it. And there was some farmsteads in its direct path so at that point, we made the decision to call for assistance from Wimbledon and Courtenay and Jamestown city” fire departments.
There were 16 total units from the four departments at the scene, he said. Area farmers with a few tractors and discs also assisted “and that was a big help,” he said.
Wind gusts at the time were up to 25 miles an hour, he said.
“At times visibility was pretty tough,” he said.
The departments contained the fire by about 8:45 p.m. and at 9 p.m., the Wimbledon, Courtenay and Jamestown Fire departments were released from the scene, Woehl said. Jamestown Rural Fire Department cleared the scene at 11:45 p.m.
One JRFD firefighter sustained a minor injury, a pulled muscle, and some equipment including a nozzle and hose were lost, Woehl said. No other injuries were reported and no other damage occurred than the burned acres, he said.
JRFD returned to the scene with one unit on Sunday morning to make sure some woodpiles and trees that were still burning were fully extinguished, Woehl said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.