Brush fire on Mt. Tom

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Firefighters are still working to put out a brush fire on Mt. Tom. 22News hiked to the top of the mountain to where the flames were causing firefighters trouble.

Firefighters spent much of Easter Sunday trying to put out a large brush fire on Mount Tom, where the Mt. Tom Ski Area used to be.

It started around 10 o’clock Sunday morning when our 22News skycams in Chicopee and Springfield captured video of the hillside burning.

When we got closer, 22News found flames and smoke at a tough location to get to, which meant getting water on the fire was difficult.

April into May can be our worst time of year for brush fires because it’s not only dry sometimes, it can also get windy and the grass and plants haven’t started to fully grow yet after being dormant from the winter.

Grass and plants hold onto much more moisture once they’re fully green and flowering, but now everything is really dry.

Holyoke Fire Commission Chairman Christopher Hopewell told 22News, “With the sun facing this part of the mountain things dry out very quickly from morning to mid-afternoon and so the conditions are ripe.”

Bob Walczak from Holyoke runs through the trails on mount tom and believes that carelessness causes too many brush fires.

“I’m not surprised at this time of year with people, some of the carelessness depending on what you’re doing if you’re not aware of true safety in dry periods of time what they can really do so you have to be really careful,” said Walczak.

No homes were in danger with this fire; the biggest concern was for a communication tower that has cell phone antennas, emergency communication and also our 22news Mt. Tom skycam.

More than 10 departments from surrounding cities and towns worked to put the fire out and the American Red Cross provided food and water to those crews.


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