PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A team of wildland firefighters from the Lebanon Fire District — who recently beefed up their roster with support from the state fire marshal — were called to battle a one-acre brush fire on their first day of service Monday.
According to Lebanon Fire, the team was less than five hours into its first shift when they were sent to a first-alarm fire near the corner of Totem Pole Road and Mt. Hope Drive. Officials said the first firefighters to arrive found a slow-moving grass and brush fire.
More than two dozen firefighters responded and five more officials from the Oregon Department of Forestry came to the scene, too. The fire was brought under control within 2.5 hours, officials said, although crews stayed behind to extinguish hotspots for several hours.
Fire officials said they spoke with homeowners and learned tree stumps and debris were burned in the spring, which they believe could have caused Monday’s fire. Officials said stump burning can leave the area hot for months after the fact and sometimes reignite during hot, dry days.
LFD said the team, Brush 31, accomplished its designed mission to “keep small fires small” before they grow out of control. Officials thanked the Oregon State Fire Marshal for the extra resources given to the district.