Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Scenes from the fire on Centennial Trail

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 4:29 PM

In case you hadn’t heard, we’re in a historic drought. Locally, the hot and dry conditions have prompted the city fire marshal to place restrictions on outdoor recreational fires.

But someone who hasn’t heard about the drought or these restrictions lit a fire on the  Centennial Trail near the Inlander’s offices Tuesday.

At first, it didn’t look that bad. Maybe it was just a smoldering fire from a cigarette somebody carelessly flicked aside. But a closer look revealed that it was worse: a tree had caught on fire and the blaze was spreading.

Luckily, the fire department showed up, rolling its trucks out on the trail to put out the fire.

Some people stopped to gawk.

A firefighter started spraying the fire with a hose.

It was really smokey.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer, the department suspects the blaze was intentionally set by an adult male wearing a black hoodie. He says it’s possible that the man accidentally set the fire with a cigarette butt and left after his efforts to put it out didn’t work. He says that firefighters spent about an hour making sure the fire, which consumed less than an acre, was put out and came back to make sure it hadn’t restarted.

“People think we just come and spray water,” he says. “But it’s a process, otherwise you’ll see us again, and we don’t like to do that.”

Schaeffer adds that fires break out every year near the Centennial Trail, but he says that the paved pathway and the nearby development prevent blazes from spreading further.

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