Multiple fire departments respond to multi-acre brush, forest fire

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TOWN OF VIENNA — Multiple local fire departments were needed to put out a multi-acre brush and forest fire off McConnellsville Road Friday afternoon.

McConnellsville Fire Captain Cory Michik said the fire started because a resident was burning brush, in violation of the state’s burn ban.

“The homeowner was burning a bit of grass in a pit and the wind grabbed it and she took off,” Michik said.

“Nice dry weather and the wind combination, it burned a few acres in the back of the field.”

The alarm was raised at 1:37 p.m. Friday and six volunteer departments were called to the scene. Michik said there was some difficulty getting manpower to the scene in the middle of the day, hence the need for more mutual aid. Several of the departments were called to use their pump-equipped all-terrain vehicles.

“The ATVs help immensely,” Michik said. “All we have to do is keep them full.”

Michik said the fire took about two hours to get under control, with crews remaining on the scene until 4 p.m. Along with several acres in the field, he said the flames also spread into about an acre of woods.

Michik said the homeowner was ticketed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for violating the burn ban.

The McConnellsville, Taberg, Camden, Sylvan Beach, Florence and Vienna fire departments responded to the scene.

Open house slated for April 27

Michik also noted that the McConnellsville Fire Department will be one of several departments across the county hosting an annual open house on April 27 to attract new members. The open house is free to attend.

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