Canyon Lake Fire Department responds to brush fire

A controlled burn in the River Chase subdivision got out of control and prompted the Canyon Lake Fire/EMS Department (CLF/EMS) to respond to an 11:35 a.m. emergency call on Tuesday (12-29).

When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, laborers were trying to head off the fire, which was moving eastward following the direction of the wind.

"There is a very high brush fire danger," fire chief Shawn Wherry said as he panned over the scene, "and this is the result because the dryer the fuel is, the higher the risk."

Wherry said fires like this concern him during these dry winter months because the vegetation turns into "fuel" for these kinds of controlled burns. He added that although the mornings can be humid or wet, the sun and dry air from the north do not allow the moisture to settle leaving the terrain ripe for brush fires.

According to Wherry, the wind changed direction while they were battling the flames and quickly moved the head of the fire to the west end of the property. However, his fire crew quickly shuffled to the other end of the fire and managed to control the blaze before any significant damage was caused to county property, like the electrical pole that stood in the fires path.

Wherry went on to say that the festive holiday season is another cause for concern because people like to celebrate with fireworks.

"People need to be aware that a firework danger is just like a controlled burn," Wherry added. "They are just fires waiting to happen."

Whatever the case may be, Wherry was sure to say that the CLF/EMS is ready to respond with at least 2 rotating brush fire trucks and a tanker on stand by. That way, Wherry said, the fire department is able to maximize its response time and coverage.

"I discourage anybody from doing either of the two (controlled burns or fireworks)," Wherry concluded, "and with such a high threat, we need to be ready to respond."


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