Petersburg Press

Firemen respond to hog unit grass fire

On March 26, 2019 at 3:22 p.m., the Petersburg Fire Department responded to a grass fire at the hog unit 10 miles west and approximately five miles south of Petersburg.
According to Fire Chief Boomer Baumgartner, the department knew access would be impossible for large trucks over the blacktop going west due to road conditions. They attempted to reach the location by going through Loretto. However, water was running over the road. They turned back. Meanwhile, two grass rigs headed west on the black top.
Realizing response by Petersburg would be slow, they requested mutual aid from the departments at Albion, Primrose, Bartlett and Elgin. None except Elgin would be able to reach the location.
Elgin did respond and was in the process of going to the location when it became necessary for them to respond to a fire in their district.
Fortunately, the two grass rigs were able to reach the site and extinguish the fire. Firemen on the grass rigs noted it was just luck that no wind fanned the flames or the entire hog unit could have been lost.
The rest of the firemen finally arrived by going on the Elgin route.
Cause of the fire, which burned several acres, was a spark from an electric fencer igniting the grass. The department returned at 5:23 p.m.
Department members urge everyone to use extreme caution. Do not start fires without knowing what weather conditions are expected. Always remain by any trash fire, have a container of water nearby, and extinguish any fire before leaving the site. A small spark or flying ember may start a large fire.
The department also stresses that they may not be able to reach your location in case of a fire or accident. Many locations, due to impassable roads, will not be accessible to the department’s heavier trucks or an ambulance.