Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service Units worked into the night to make sure all the areas of a brush fire which burned a wooded area between Germantown Road and Riffleford Road, behind the PEPCO substation at 17101 Germantown Road on Saturday afternoon.
MCFRS units were dispatched to the area at about 4:00 pm on Saturday, according to MCFRS senior spokesman Pete Piringer. Units encountered a smoky area in a rough terrain, with dry and windy conditions which would be conducive to a rapid spread of fire in the area. Piringer said via Twitter that the “brush fire in Germantown had been ‘doused’ but the Department of Natural Resources and MCFRS will continue to monitor. Hopefully rain will help.”
The fire was contained to less than 10 acres and no structures were damaged or directly threatened. Fire fighters attacked the fire with more than five pumper trucks, three tanker trucks, and four brush trucks. The State Police helicopter Trooper 3 was called in for to provide an aerial assessment of the scope of the brush fire which, according to Piringer was contained by 6:10 pm, although units and personnel were on the scene until well after 8:30 pm on Saturday night.
Fire fighters attacked the fire from access points located behind the PEPCO substation off Germantown Road and through a farm road leading to fields about a half-mile into the wooded area. Fire fighters used specially designed brush trucks, as well as ATVs and earth moving equipment to battle the fire. MCFRS set up a command posts in both locations for personnel to re-hab before returning to fight the wind-blown fire.
As the fire was being brought under control MCFRS had the manpower equivalent of a two-alarm fire working to extinguish the fire from multiple locations. Additional four-wheel drive vehicles were brought in to assist the firefight, which was hampered by breezy conditions and difficult terrain. Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein and Councilmember Craig Rice were both on scene at assist.
The fire brought back memories of the February 2011 brush fire which started in about the same area which scorched 460 acres and damaged fences, sheds, patios and melted siding on 27 structures, according to a Gazette.net article.
Top: MCFRS battled a brush fire in Germantown between Germantown Road and Riffleford Road for over four hours on Saturday night.
Next: A Google Maps view of the area where the brush fire burned less than 10 acres in Germantown.
Next: A MCFRS tanker truck drive down an unpaved farm road to bring water to the command post deep within the wooded area.
Next: MCFRS set up a command posts in both locations for personnel to re-hab before returning to fight the wind-blown fire.
Next: The Maryland State Police helicopter was brought in to provide and aerial view to allow fire commanders to understand the scope of the brush fire, while tanker trucks shuttled water to the area which was not served by fire hydrants.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.