Stubborn Pinellas brush fire started by trash - WFLA News Channel 8

Stubborn Pinellas brush fire started by trash

Posted: Updated:
Pinellas Park -

Just when firefighters thought they had a handle on a wind-swept brush fire, it would flare up again.

At the height of the battle, 20 units from half a dozen departments did their best to get water on hot spots just south of Ulmerton Road. 

"They cooled the spots down but then the embers with the wind would blow it to another area, and obviously its very dry out here today," said Pinellas Park Fire Department Spokesman Lt. Gary Berkheimer. 

For a time, fire commanders worried the nearby Hampton Inn and other nearby structures could be in danger, but some well-placed ladder trucks and engine companies prevented trouble.

The fire burned brush that was cut and stacked a year ago by Showtime Speedway owner Robert Yoho.  Yoho is impressed with the way firefighters got water to the area. 

"The way the fire department has took one truck, staged another truck a hundred foot, ran a hose to that, and leap frogged it down to the fire, then up the ladder and out the thing, rally amazing in how they work as a team," said Yoho.

Pinellas Park fire investigators say this fire started when a driver for Waste Management came into its waste transfer station with a load of cardboard that he thought was smoldering.  He dumped it on the ground, and it caught the brush on fire.

"Any little bit of wind just fuels that and it just spreads it so fast and its hard to get ahead of it," said Lt. Berkheimer. 

A Sunstar ambulance crew treated a Largo firefighter for heat exhaustion.  Speedway owner Yoho provided a front-end loader to the firefighting effort. 

"All I could to is keep bringing 'em water and Gatorade and support 'em and don't let 'em pass out," said Yoho.

Strong winds and dry brush fueled this fire. Fire officials say what's needed now is a strong rainstorm to reduce the fire risk.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @WFLATAMPA

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Glitch crashes global US passport, visa operations

    Glitch crashes global US passport, visa operations

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:34:46 GMT
    The State Department's global database for issuing travel documents has crashed, resulting in major delays for potentially millions of people around the world waiting for U.S. passports and visas, officials said Wednesday.
    The State Department's global database for issuing travel documents has crashed, resulting in major delays for potentially millions of people around the world waiting for U.S. passports and visas, officials said Wednesday.
  • Apple users get strange emails with old dates

    Apple users get strange emails with old dates

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:53:01 GMT
    If you got an email dated in the 60s, you would probably assume it's a scam.
    If you got an email dated in the 60s, you would probably assume it's a scam.
  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • NewsMore>>

  • VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:47:49 GMT
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
  • One struck by lightning in Clearwater

    One struck by lightning in Clearwater

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:47:12 GMT
    One person has been struck by lightning at Sand Key Park in Clearwater.
    One person has been struck by lightning at Sand Key Park in Clearwater.
  • Sarasota man finds 4-ft-long Tegu lizard

    Sarasota man finds 4-ft-long Tegu lizard

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:39:26 GMT
    Billy Baden caught a Tegu lizard behind his home.Billy Baden caught a Tegu lizard behind his home.
    A four-foot lizard that a Sarasota man spotted outside his home shows how much of a problem invasive Tegu lizards have become. Billy Baden caught the Tegu lizard behind his home in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood.
    A four-foot lizard that a Sarasota man spotted outside his home shows how much of a problem invasive Tegu lizards have become. Billy Baden caught the Tegu lizard behind his home in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:52:34 GMT
    (Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)(Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali

    France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:03:14 GMT
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported. 
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported. 
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.