South Lockport Uses Multiple Mutual Aid Companies for Brush Fire
By STEPHEN WALLACE, Senior Correspondent | November 05, 2020 | NEW YORK
Story No. 110520119
Photo by Stephen M WallaceSouth Lockport rolled into a ripping fire 100s of acres of dried corn husk
Photo by Stephen M WallaceWind whipped smoke across South Transit and over a mile away
Photo by Stephen M WallaceDry grass caused hot spots to jump the Hedge Row fire line
Photo by Stephen M WallaceFire fighters took a stand on the far side of the hedge Row to stop the blaze
Photo by Stephen M WallaceSenior Firefighter Braden Brooks dodged the flames to allow his water man to get a good steady stream to put out the stubborn blaze
Photo by Stephen M WallaceRapids protected the Plaza in case the next field went up in flames
Photo by Stephen M WallaceThe smoke was so thick and blown by the wind, the equipment disappeared from view during the battle
Photo by Stephen M WallaceIt finally came down to finding the small hidden flames and then the fire was out.
Lockport, NY - South Lockport Fire Company responded to the report of a field fire off of Robinson Road on November 5th.
As equipment rolled out of the hall located just a minute down the road, it was obvious that the wind had turned this into an inferno of flames and smoke. Route 78 by the Value Plaza was at zero visibility due to smoke that was being blown to the east over a mile away. The dry grass and freshly combined corn field of over 100-acres was a ripping fire that was heading toward the hedge row. If the flames jumped the hedge row it would hit another patch of fire fuel of dried plowed corn husk. This time it would lead to a full barn and the Value Plaza shopping center.
The call for a multiple mutual aid alarm went out. Off road trucks and equipment from Terry’s Corners, Wendelville, Wolcottsville, Gasport and Rapids all responded. The Town of Lockport, thankfully, had installed a hydrant way out in the corn field. This allowed the trucks to quickly refill and go.
The flames went east and hit the barbwire dividing fence covered in dry grass, which went up like a Roman candle. The saving grace was on the other side; the land owner had made a driving path which was perfectly mowed and maintained green lush short grass that did not catch. The hedge row to the southeast was still green enough to slow the blaze to give the firefighters a chance at holding the line. From the bypass, over 100-acres had been scorched and if they lost the hedge row line it would be a massive inferno, including a barn.
With over 50 plus years of active firefighting, South Lockport fireman Braden Brooks handled the M10 off road truck, swerving in between flames as his co-pilot hit the fire with the on-the-go water tank on the rear. Wolcottsville sent in their specially trained field fire team, with Wes at the wheel of their off road pumper. This crew made quick work of the flames along the hedge row, and the southeast corn field where the flames broke through.
Terry’s Corners used their special equipped water tank ATV to get to hot spots before they got a chance to get ripping. Together, all the firefighters worked the land from foot, trucks and ATVs to stop this inferno. Rapids quickly set up a pumper and a crew by the Value Plaza, so if the fire jumped the line, they had a water wall ready to protect the building.
The wind gust would kick up flames as the trucks went by, but after a few hours the firefighters were able to extinguish the hidden hot spots and douse the fire out. One hundred acres were burned, but thankfully the crop had already combined the area, preventing a loss of income to any farmers. No firefighters were injured and the smoke dissipated from the surrounding areas.
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.