Crews respond to Mineral Wells, Belpre and Ritchie brush fires

Local fire crews battled brush fires in West Virginia and Ohio around the same time Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to 1664 Missouri Run Road in Mineral Wells around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after a high-tension power line caught fire when high winds caused a tree to fall on the line, officials said.

Chief Jay Parsons with the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department said about five acres were scorched in the blaze. The land was not near structures and the high winds caused the tree to blow over, he said.

Eastwood and Lubeck Volunteer Fire departments assisted in the response as well as the West Virginia Division of Forestry, Parsons said. The fire was extinguished around 6:15 p.m.

Around the same time, a fire broke out along the railroad tracks near Rockland Avenue. Belpre Volunteer Fire Department responded from two sides, from the back yard of a home on Rockland and off the dead end of Sycamore Street, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., said Belpre Fire Chief Bob Frank.

A hillside with small trees and brush were ignited and burned about 50 feet of ground.

”We believe a train went by and put a spark in there,” Frank said. ”Things have been really dry with all the wind we have had. It did not take a lot to ignite it.”

The fire did not threaten homes in the immediate area, but did threaten an outbuilding at one residence. The homeowner was trying to keep it at bay with a garden hose until fire crews reached the scene, Frank said.

Belpre VFD responded with two pumper trucks and eight or nine firefighters.

Flames were visible when crews arrived. Frank said the fire was extinguished within 5-10 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

With the dry weather, Frank recommends people postpone burning brush and other debris.

”We have been advising people not to burn with the wind like it has been,” he said.

Ritchie County firefighters were also busy with brush fires and a structure fire Wednesday, officials said.

Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department responded to two brush fires around 2 p.m. Wednesday. One was along Goff Road where a fire torched five to seven acres of land, said officials. Another brush fire occurred on Cairo Road and resulted in about an acre of grass and trees being burned.

Fire officials said the fires were the result of downed power lines due to windy conditions.

Another brush fire occurred on Cedar Grove Road around 6:45 p.m. and burned six to eight acres, fire crews said.