Palatine firefighters responded at 10:46 am. Wednesday, May 15, 2019 to a report of a brush fire in the Northeast corner of the Deer Grove East Forest Preserve, near the intersection of Dee Lane and Preserve Drive. The first Palatine Fire Department engine crew arrived within 4 minutes, reported a small brush fire, and began a fire attack using hand tools. Due to a slight South-Southwest wind, the fire grew rapidly and additional fire crews were requested to protect downwind exposures along Hicks Road and Rand Road. The fire was stopped in these areas, but due to the high, dry grasses present in the area, the fire began moving to the South toward forest preserve biking trails. Wildland firefighters from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s Department of Resource Management were requested to assist fire crews in controlling the spread of the fire.
LOCAL WINDS DIFFER FROM NWS O’HARE
While Palatine Fire Department observed winds from the South-Southwest at the scene; the National Weather Service (NWS) at O’Hare International Airport about 13 miles away, reported winds light and variable, and then from the West and Northwest.
A total of over 25 firefighters staffing 3 Engines, 1 Quint, 1 Tender, 1 Squad, 1 Ambulance, 2 Brush Trucks and 1 UTV responded, along with 4 command officers. The fire was difficult to extinguish because it was primarily located in a marshland area so a perimeter was set up to keep the fire in check. No structures or vehicles were damaged in the fire, which was declared under control at 2:09 pm.
The Cook County Forest Preserve Police and Palatine Police assisted firefighters with crowd control and spectator safety. No mandatory evacuations were ordered, and no civilians, fire personnel or police officers were injured during this incident. Fire departments that responded to the scene included the Arlington Heights Fire Department, Palatine Rural, Hoffman Estates Fire Department and Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District. Schaumburg Fire Department, Elk Grove Township and Streamwood fire departments provided units to stand by in Palatine fire stations to provide continuous coverage during the incident.
Approximately 50 acres of grass and marshland was burned in the fire, which was apparently accidental in nature.
The Palatine Fire Department reminds everyone to use extreme caution in disposing of smoking materials at any time and to use caution with any heat-producing products in dry, windy conditions in fields or brush.
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