Md. Firefighters Spent Weekend Battling Brush Fires

ODENTON, Md. (WJZ)—Firefighters are finally getting a break after battling brush fires across the state that were fanned by the weekend’s high winds.

Firefighters were still out Monday morning monitoring hot spots to make sure no fires reignited.

Derek Valcourt shows us the aftermath of the fast-moving flames.

It has been an exhausting weekend for hundreds of firefighters in Maryland. In all, more than 2,000 acres burned across the state, causing millions of dollars worth of damage.

In Odenton, bulldozers from the Maryland Department of Forestry spent hours Sunday trying to stop the massive brush fire that Saturday’s 50 mph winds fanned out of control in a matter of minutes.

“What they’ve done with these heavy-duty bulldozers is cut approximately a three-foot trough on the outside of the fire so it can’t jump that fire line and continue on,” said Captain James Rostek, Anne Arundel Fire Department.

It worked, stopping the fire but not before it burned some 600 acres of property, ruined some construction trailers, a few vehicles and even a nearly two century old unoccupied log cabin.

Luckily all of the occupied homes like Andy Meyer’s were spared.

“There’s a couple neighbors up the street. We were back in the woods with rakes and shovels putting it out, and we were able to stop it before it got to the back of my property,” said Meyer, Odenton homeowner.

But in Prince George’s County, some 12 homeowners weren’t as fortunate. There, seven fires fanned by the winds burned more than 1,000 acres of property—including 300 acres of mulch piles in Laurel that forced firefighters to shut down I-95 for several hours.

In all, Prince George’s County alone estimates $2 million worth of brush fire damage.

Luckily, there have been no reports of any injuries in any of these fires.

Click here to view fire photo gallery.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • Alan

    Cecil County Maryland got ditchpatched to the call we were there all night till around 8 am this moring

  • VK

    As a resident of the area I just want to say thank you. we are very grateful for all the firefighters. :-)

    • me

      I just hope the AA County politicians remember how hard they worked over the past 3 days when it comes time to talk about the new union contract. They work hard and deserve more than they get.

      • A volunteer

        Me, just remember its not just those who are paided union members but there where hundreds of Volunteer Firefighters out there risking there lives for free with no benefits! Lets make sure the County politicians from everywhere across this great country know that and support them also. Its not just about a paycheck or union benefits. Wake up and look at the big picture!

  • tony Big Baloney

    Wonder which firefighter started this fire.

  • BR

    Before u go shooting off at the mouth about firefighters being pyro’s y don’t u educate yourself on that subject a little bit moron. I’m sure if you go to any firehouse right now they would let u gouge their eyes out if they didn’t have to fight a brush/woods fire in 60 mph winds varying in direction. Because I know I would! Woods fires are the most dangerous, labor intensive, back breaking time consuming manual labor you will ever experience. Thus said no matter how big of a pyro they are anyone who has experienced this type of work, fatigue, danger wouldn’t of went looking for it. So next time u wanna jump to conclusions strap an indian tank to your back take a rake and a chain saw and hike on into the woods all while carrying around 100lbs of gear. All while fire is jumping tree tops over your head and the wind keeps changing directions so you have to keep changing your position so don’t get trapped and burn to death, cuz you have a wife and kids at home

    • Rebecca Simon

      I agree with you BR. My fiance’ and step son are volunteers but they didn’t have to go to any of the brush fires down in the Laurel area. After seeing the house fire on Potomac in Berwyn Heights Saturday am that is enough to make anyone who smokes etc. to be careful when dealing with fire. I now make sure all cigs r put out before leaving them unattended.

  • BR

    You know that’s a shame to be disrespected by a fellow emergency services worker. “Sheriff” willie probably just a wanna be. But as I said earlier don’t disrespect or criticize our profession until you experience it. But its also nice to finally see some positive feedback. We don’t need recognition for our efforts but the criticism is ridiculous!

    • John Price

      HELL YEAH BR U TELL HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • sheriff willie

        John Price, U R a ball sucker, how do you like the pubic dental floss.?

  • Lynda Knight

    How crazy to put anyone down or to disrespect someone who is out there trying to save other people. Just Rude..

  • jack

    idiots man people think firefighting is something simple, hell no, i want to become a firefighter these damn guys actually do risk their lives its no little game its not all fun and games

  • BR

    Exactly! Its not simple uneducated or should I say unknowing people think its putting water on the fire or the “wet stuff on the red stuff” but its not. If it was we wouldn’t dedicate 200+ hours a year training.

  • jack

    BR what station are you from?

  • MM

    Thank you Volunteers !! Thanks to all the Firefighters who risk everything !
    You truly are angels here on earth !

  • jerryenowitch7

    Jerkoffs, I refer to past history of the conditions of volunteer firefighters & their criminality. Many volunteers show up at fire half inebriated (stoned for the stupid) or working on a hangover or better yet up all day eating, playing cards, watching porn. Get paid firefighters & let them be held to a higher standard. History has show that many house, woods & other fires have been purposely set by volunteers with their own agenda. Go figure that one out. I ain’t lying & you dudes know it…..Anybody gotta six pack..? ……Burn baby burn!!

  • BR

    Wow what a stereotypical moron u r jerryenowitch7. Maybe young members in the 80’s. U must be stuck in the past buddy. Ur probably racist and sexist and everything else aren’t u. Yes there are bad eggs in the volly world no drugs mostly drunks. But not everybody. I’m sure there is plenty of paid guys with habits no one knows about moron. And as for sitting around all day watching porn and eating. We have full time jobs as well as volunteer to risk our ass to save yours. And as for “sheriff willie” up there calling mr. Price a ball sucker, people like u are what give cops nicknames such as pig, donut eater and so on. From what I’ve seen on here it’d be a disgrace to call you a public servant let alone a sheriff

  • Alan

    How do all u people that disrespect people like me that went on this call i was away from my family for more then 12 hours and the whole time my family was worried about me lets see u sheriff willie with all our gear on n go into a fire u would respect each every person we risk our lives everyday for complete strangers but u know what its worth it bcuz knowing i have saved someones life and o wait if ur house caught on fire and we knew who u were n lived n u were trapped in ur house n we knew it was u what do u think we would do leave u to die or save u of course we would save u this is something we wanna do n i enjoy it i just wanna make a point but dude stop being rude towards us what did we ever do to u all we do is try to save lives as best as possible

  • zorrothe sword

    Robin,…..U R the new internet police? Haw haw, get bent in your smelly crack.

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