Blaze above North Ogden had firefighters busy

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 2:05 PM

Michael McFall

NORTH OGDEN — Amy Bischoff watched the bright red and orange flames dance a few hundred feet from her home.

She had grabbed the essentials — computer, documents — having been alerted to evacuate her home near 3900 N. 100 East in North Ogden on Tuesday night.

The wind was pushing a grass fire west above the subdivision, and emergency responders were trying to fight the flames at the same time as they were trying to evacuate people from any potentially endangered homes in the wind’s path.

But by midnight — the fire call came in at 10:20 p.m. — firefighters had the 6-acre grass fire contained and everyone was allowed back to their homes.

Bischoff and her family, standing in the driveway of their home and watching the firefighters fight back the flames, felt thankful for their quick response.

In all, North View Fire District Capt. Brendon Hunt believes at least 75 to 100 homes were evacuated Tuesday night through reverse 911 calls, as well as with help from law enforcement and North Ogden CERT.

Investigators are not sure yet what started the fire.

When the first calls about the fire came in, some firefighting units were tied up at a structure fire near 1400 W. 3300 South in Ogden.

But the North View Fire District started a new strategy this year of having two personnel in a brush truck on "fire patrol" through August, Hunt said. They drive around keeping a watchful eye out for fires and anyone who might be breaking the fire restrictions, and were on scene within a minute of the first calls.

After them, firefighters from at least Plain City, Ogden, North Ogden and the U.S. Forest Service showed up to help.

With how close the fire was to homes — initially within a quarter-mile, but it came within 50 to 100 feet at times — firefighters frontloaded their attack, Hunt said. They also kept three fire engines close to homes to protect any structures, though ultimately none were reported damaged.

No one was reported injured either, but one firefighter did have a medical issue come up and he was taken in an ambulance to a local hospital. Hunt could not elaborate any further, but said the issue was not necessarily related to the fire.

As of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the fire was contained but not completely out, Hunt said.

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