Stop the presses! In central New York state volunteer firefighters…
…were forced to carry water on their backs to fight a brush fire off Edic Road on Easter Sunday.
The accidental blaze was ignited at about 2 p.m. after a man clearing brush in a field spilled gasoline near his tractor, according to Maynard Fire Chief Joseph Mack. The field was located between Mulaney and Glass Factory roads.
“He spilled some gas, and when he started his tractor it started a fire,” Mack explained. The flames spread to cover about “an acre and a half of burnt grass.”
Crews from three departments responded, and Mack said heavy winds and lack of roads hindered the firefight. “With the winds yesterday, the fire kept changing directions on us,” Mack said. Water was tankered to the scene, but the hoses could not reach all of the flames from the roadway.
Mack said volunteers strapped portable tanks onto their back and marched out into the field to reach the fire before it could spread to a wooded area. Mack said the flames were completely knocked down after about an hour of firefighters trudging back and forth to Edic Road to refill the tanks.
“There were a couple of people that we had sit down and drink water,” but there were no serious cases of exhaustion due to carrying the portable tanks, Mack said.