Arizona Crews Battle Grass Fire

A small grass fire was dispatched on May 19, 2003 to 11626 W Hubbel Street in Avondale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. When initial units arrived, they found a fast-moving fire spreading to the east towards several unprotected residential structures. Units requested a balance of a first alarm brush assignment, summoning approximately 60 firefighters on 10 engines, 1 quint-ladder, 8 brush trucks, 4 tanker trucks, the Department of Public Safety helicopter, and numerous command and support units to the scene.

Initial units took a defensive position on a small dirt road to protect the exposures with handlines. The fire burning from the West to the Southeast and was steadily growing. Additional units began to attack the flanks of the fire. Eventually the fire burned past the initial exposures and then was allowed to burn freely towards the East where a paved 2 lane road would act as a fire break. Units concentrated on the East portion and waited for the fire to burn to them where they brought the fire under control in about 2 hours.

This fire used the resources of the Phoenix Regional Automatic Aid agreement bringing units from Avondale, Goodyear, Tolleson, Buckeye Valley, Peoria, Glendale and Phoenix. Over 20 acres of farm land barley crop was destroyed, however there were no structures damaged and no injuries reported.

The cause at this time is under investigation, but there were reports of children starting the fire.

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