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

  • NewsMore>>

  • Closing arguments to begin in McTear trial

    Closing arguments to begin in McTear trial

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:09 AM EDT2014-07-30 09:09:53 GMT

    Closing arguments begin Wednesday morning in Richard McTear's murder trial. 

    Closing arguments begin Wednesday morning in Richard McTear's murder trial. 

  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:58:27 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • Parents of Sarasota teen hit by stray bullet want others held accountable

    Parents of Sarasota teen hit by stray bullet want others held accountable

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:33:00 GMT
    17-year-old Teria'le was killed by a stray bullet Monday morning in Bradenton.17-year-old Teria'le was killed by a stray bullet Monday morning in Bradenton.
    The parents of a 17 -year-old girl who was hit and killed by a bullet not meant for her are looking for justice. Teria’le Rawls was killed Monday morning when she was hit by a bullet while at a party in the Royal Palm Movie Theater parking lot in Bradenton.
    The parents of a 17 -year-old girl who was hit and killed by a bullet not meant for her are looking for justice. Teria’le Rawls was killed Monday morning when she was hit by a bullet while at a party in the Royal Palm Movie Theater parking lot in Bradenton.
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.