An estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year and local numbers could have been higher this season, if not for the valor of local volunteers who stepped up to combat a 60-acre hillside fire that took place on Tuesday.
The Rush Township Fire Department was notified at 2:08 p.m. of a hillside fire by a local resident who was out of town, but had been notified by a house sitter. The fire was just off Duck Run Road.
Not only did Rush Township’s entirely volunteer-driven department work from the moment they were notified until 11:30 p.m., but so did departments from Union, Morgan and Washington Townships.
The Division of Forestry also sent help to combat the fire, despite the Shawnee crew being in Ross County for another fire.
The fire was nearly extinguished the night of, but the department continued combating small sections of fire through Thursday morning.
The fire was kept to the hillside and no structures were damaged due to the flames, according to Fire Chief Jarrod Montavon, who was thankful for the good outcome.
“We had no damage to any homes, structures, or anything like that. The important thing is nobody was hurt. It was all just brush from recent, fresh piles,” Montavon said.
When asked about the volunteer aspect of the defense, Montavon remained humble.
“Oh, that’s just what we do,” Montavon said. “I think we all take pride in our communities and give back, because it is the right thing to do.”
There other reported fires in the region.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has issued a Special Weather Statement, in conjunction with land management agencies, to alert people to an ongoing or expected increased fire danger weather pattern. Dry conditions and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.
People were told to avoid outdoor burning, because of increased danger conditions occurring and expected. They were also instructed to extinguish all outdoor fires properly.
“Drown fires with plenty of water and stir to make sure everything is cold to the touch. Dunk charcoal in water until cold. Do not throw live charcoal on the ground and leave it. Never leave a fire unattended. Sparks or embers can blow into leaves or grass, ignite a fire, and quickly spread,” ODNR explained.
Ohio law states that most outdoor debris burning is prohibited in unincorporated areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved