Firefighters put out swift-moving brush fire in Palmer

24 acres of land destroyed; no buildings endangered

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – Palmer Fire Department, along with mutual aid from six surrounding towns, contained a brush fire in a forest near Converse Middle School in Palmer.

Monson Fire Department Chief Larry McDonald told 22News, the call came in around 1:41 this afternoon for a brush fire in the area of Woodland Heights Road. The fire was located in the middle of a wooded area, and burned quickly uphill due to the wind.

Crews battled the fire for four hours, but Deputy Chief David Pranaitis told 22News they expected to take another four hours to make sure the fire was completely out. Pranaitis also said, the wind caused the fire to move fast and created fire tornadoes. Fire tornadoes are four to five feet tall, and are created when wind combines with a burning fire.

24 acres of land were destroyed. Nearby Converse Middle School and Legion Field were undamaged by the fire, and no homes in the area were ever in any danger.

Pranaitis also said crews battled the fire on foot, from both sides, using water pumps; a pair of 3,000-gallon tankers were also deployed to combat the flames.

Crews plan to perform walkthroughs of the area both Saturday night and Sunday morning, to check for areas where the fire might flare up again.

Other crews assisting in battling the fire include Bondsville, Monson, Three Rivers, Ware, and Brimfield; Wilbraham Fire Department also provided station coverage.

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