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Homes, RVs undamaged by brush fire

March 05, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

The El Centro Fire Department faced extra challenges Saturday night as they battled a fire on mostly empty land more than one-half mile from the nearest hydrant.

The fire, which broke out east of the Broken Spoke RV Park around 5:30 p.m., consumed piles of tree trimmings that had been dumped there, said El Centro Fire Department Battalion Chief Bill DuBois.

Those trimmings supplied ample fuel to the fire, which imbedded itself deep within the piles, making it difficult for fire fighters to reach anything but surface flames, DuBois said.

To further impede firefighters' progress was the lack of a nearby fire hydrant. Imperial County Fire Department sent a water tender, a tanker truck carrying 1,000 gallons of water, to the scene.

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The tender had to be refilled three times, DuBois said.

"There was never any danger to the mobile homes or RVs because there was quite a bit of separation (between the park and the fire)," DuBois said.

The blowing smoke, however, was a nuisance to nearby residents, DuBois said.

DuBois said he thinks the fire may have been arson.

Homeless people have been known to live in the area, DuBois said, and it's possible a fire used by transients may have gotten out of control.

Firefighters returned to the station at 11:30 p.m.

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