HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Firefighters are confident a brush fire in south Huntsville is finally under control, nearly 18 hours after it started.
They are also confident it was no accident after receiving reports of some partying in the area along with dozens of empty beer cans left next to the pyre.
“We know that it didn’t start on its own and we’re doing the best we can to keep it confined to where it is,” district fire chief Steve Oliver said.
Huntsville firefighters responded to a fire near Belltown Road around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
They found a pile of chopped timbers and other tree debris on fire, and firefighters tended to the heap until about 3 a.m. Saturday.
Saturday afternoon neighbors nearby called to report smoke, and firefighters came back.
“Our sources of extinguishment are limited,” Oliver said.
“They had a rough time putting it out. They did the best they could at the time and now we’re back to finish the job.”
The Friday night crews used special drafting equipment to suck water out of a nearby pond, as the mound of cut tree timbers was in the middle of a field and not close to any hydrants.
A long dirt road turned to mud from the water, and firefighters didn’t want to risk a tanker truck getting stuck.
“We just decided to leave the trucks away and utilize the hose and get it as close as we can,” Oliver said.
His Saturday afternoon team found a hydrant in the neighborhood nearby and ran hoses down a hill, through a barbed wire fence, and around a bend.
Oliver said the plan was to drown out the fire.
They finished around 5 p.m. Saturday.