Small fire trucks can go where big fire trucks cannot.
That was part of the logic used in the development of Squad 12, a
four-wheel drive Ford F-350 with firefighting skid unit and it was
put to the test on Saturday, March 14.
Pine Mountain and Hopewell firefighters were dispatched to what was
first reported as a brush fire threatening a structure. That
information was changed to a brush fire and excavator burning along
Ga. Hwy. 354.
The burning excavator and brush fire were located well off a road.
In fact, there was not even a driveway leading to the incident
Unable to reach the fire scene, Engine 1202 was staged on a nearby
drive and used for water supply.
Driving across a clear-cut area, Squad 12 and Squad 51 (Hopewell
Fire Department) were used to battle the fires.
Upon arrival, the excavator had fire showing from under the engine/
hydraulic compartment and coming from between the tracks. Equipped
with F500 foam, Squad 12 and crew tackled the excavator fire,
quickly bringing it under control.
Squad 51 and crew were used to extinguish the brush fire before it
could get in the nearby woods.
The fire started out as a controlled burn involving a pile of limbs
and other yard debris.
The person in charge was using a small excavator to add limbs on the
burning pile, which had been located well away from any structures.
As happens too often, the fire spread beyond the pile of debris and
headed toward the woods.
The excavator was used in an effort to cut a fire break around the
fire, but apparently the fire ignited a build-up of oils or
hydraulic fluid on the excavator and it began to burn as well.
The excavator owner did attempt to extinguish the fire in the unit,
discharging three two-pound ABC fire extinguishers.