Sunday, January 21, 2018

Flames consume several pine trees during the Pine Crest Fire.

Fire crews respond to multiple blazes

A Friday afternoon fire sparked by an unknown source scorched approximately 200 feet of ditch between the frontage road and the westbound lane of I-90.
Three separate callers reported what ended up being as many as five fires on the north side of I-90 along the fence line in the ditch.
Columbus, Park City and Laurel fire crews responded. A 3:22 p.m. Columbus Fire Rescue arrived at mile marker 421 and reported three separate fires at that location, according to the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office dispatch records. A 911 call made shortly thereafter reported as many as five separate fives in that same area between the interstate and the frontage road. It was speculated the fires were most likely caused by a vehicle dragging chains that were sparking, according to dispatch records. Deputies were sent to look for a possible vehicle. By 3:41 p.m. all the fires had been knocked down.
Pine Crest Fire
Fire crews have been called back to various spots at the Pine Crest Fire in the past several days, all of which were within the established lines. All were attacked quickly and effectively and none posed any threat to the fire line or homes, said Columbus Fire Chief Rich Cowger.
One call-out noted in dispatch records last Saturday involved flames and smoke reported in a coulee at 6:28 p.m. A second incident was reported Sunday at 1:08 a.m. when flames were spotted about five miles into the subdivision and approximately 100 to 200 yards off the road. Park City fire crews responded to both.
The cause of the 3,000-acre blaze remains under a joint three-agency investigation.
DNRC has spent approximately $400,000 on Pine Creek Fire, said Cowger.
Vehicle Fire
Columbus and Reed Point fire crews were paged to I-90 near Reed Point at 2:20 p.m. last Saturday when a vehicle caught fire. Cowger said the motorist was driving on I-90 and saw her vehicle start smoking. The motorist pulled over and saw the vehicle was on fire.
The front of the vehicle was engulfed and was extending into the passenger compartment upon the arrival of the first fire engine on scene, said Cowger.
It was extinguished before it could start a grass fire, but the vehicle appeared to be a total loss. MHP also responded to the scene.