Friday, July 6, 2007

Fireworks were likely cause of Hailey brush fire

Firefighters, neighbors contain blaze

Express Staff Writer

Firefighters from the Hailey Fire Department and Wood River Fire & Rescue, along with helpful neighbors, extinguished a small blaze that ignited just before 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 5. Firefighters responded to an area between China Gardens and Robin Hood Drive in Hailey and quickly contained the fire, which measured approximately 75 feet in diameter. Photo by David N. Seelig

A Roman candle is the suspected cause of a brush fire that took place just before 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 3.

The Hailey Fire Department was dispatched to a vegetated area between China Gardens and Robin Hood Drive, located in west Hailey, where firefighters encountered a brush fire approximately 75 feet in diameter with three-foot-tall flames.

"We had a man on the scene within one minute of the call and responded with a total of 10 firefighters," Hailey Fire Chief Mike Chapman said. "There were also five to seven firefighters from Wood River Fire and Rescue."

When the crews arrived, neighbors were already working on the fire with garden hoses, helping control the flames, Chapman said. Within five minutes the firefighters contained the fire and then spent another 30 minutes dousing the area to make sure remnants of the blaze were extinguished.

Chapman said a recently used Roman candle, a firework that shoots small balls of fire, was found on the street lying in the direction of the fire. While he did not confirm that that was the cause, Chapman said his department is investigating the possibility, which could mean a possible arson charge for the responsible party.

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