Weather Updates

Brush fire that burned 18 acres caused by illegal fireworks

Updated: July 5, 2012 4:26PM

A brush fire that took firefighters about seven hours and 20,000 gallons of water to extinguish -- and burned about 18 acres of a dried-up lake bed -- Wednesday night in northwest suburban Long Grove was caused by the use of illegal fireworks, fire officials say.

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Long Grove Fire Protection District was dispatched to 3448 Hidden Valley Rd. in Long Grove for a brush fire, a release from the Long Grove Fire Protection District said.

A brush fire truck initially responded , but when the first arriving company got to the scene at 4:05 p.m., they immediately requested a Chief Officer and a tanker and reported a rapidly growing brush fire in the rear of a home, with a potential for exposure to neighboring buildings.

Within four minutes of the first upgrade, another upgrade was made for a full structure fire assignment. Several more upgrades were made during the initial phase of fire suppression operations. In total, more than 30 fire departments/districts responded to the scene with engines, tankers, brush trucks, ambulances and command vehicles. Approximately 20,000 gallons of water were used to contain and extinguish the fire.

A specialized wildland firefighting team, the Lake and McHenry counties Wildland Fire Task Force, responded to the scene with specialized equipment including All Terrain vehicles with firefighting equipment. Firefighters had to contend with brutally hot and humid weather conditions, as well as the aggressive physical nature of the work, the fire district said. Extensive measures to treat firefighters for any heat-related issues were taken at the scene. One firefighter was taken from the scene to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington for a heat-related illness, the release said.

The approximately 18 acres that burned was basically a dried-up lake bed/wetland that has been exposed to an exceptionally dry period because of current drought conditions, the release said. Adjacent to the burned out area were residential subdivisions. The fire was stopped at the manicured yard lines near the fire and prior to extending to thick forest-type of vegetation, the fire district said.

No structures were damaged as a result of the fire. The last fire personnel left the scene at 11:03 p.m.

The fire was caused by the illegal use of fireworks, according to the release. One male was taken in for questioning by personnel from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and Long Grove police. The fire remains under investigation by sheriff’s police and Long Grove police.

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