Large brush fire at Joint Base Cape Cod

– A large brush fire burned all day long at Joint Base Cape Cod. The fire broke out sometime around 8 a.m. off Richardson Road. Firefighters called for air drops from helicopters. There was concern in approaching the fire in some areas where could be undetonated shells in the range area where the fire is burning. Smoke was drifting over parts of Sandwich prompting several 911 calls to come in to their dispatch area, some reporting ash landing on buildings. As of 10:30 p.m. officials were estimating about 12 acres could be involved.

12:00 p.m. update: A second alarm brush assignment brought additional resources to the scene. Helicopters were making water pickups at Snake Pond in Sandwich where a Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills fire boat was standing by along with Mass State Police divers.

2 p.m. update: A mutual aid brush breaker task force from Plymouth County was called to the scene. Shifting winds kept moving the fire in different directions. Crews were successful in keeping the fire from jumping Jefferson Road. At one point, smoke from the fire was heavy enough to be picked up on weather radar.

3 p.m. update: Mass State Police released the following statement on their ops at the fire: “The Massachusetts State Police are currently assisting with a brush fire that has spread across an estimated 20 acres on Joint Base Cape Cod (formerly Massachusetts Military Reservation, OTIS Air National Guard Base, Camp Edwards). The call for assistance was made through the Sandwich Fire Department and the Department of Conservation and Recreation at 10:00 a.m. as the fire was spreading. The State Police Airwing has one helicopter conducting Bambi Bucket water drops to assist in fire control and suppression. The helicopter is filling the Bambi Bucket at Snake Pond in Sandwich where MSP divers and a boat are on scene to ensure safe operations. Patrols from the State Police Barracks in Bourne are responding to Route 6 to determine if any traffic impact will occur due to the fire. Updates will follow if there is any impact to traffic on Route 6.”
9 p.m. update: It is estimated the fire reached 50 acres in size. Crews were making good progress into the evening but gusty, squally winds with an approaching thunderstorm caused some flareups requiring additional attention. A skelton crew will be on hand all night and then operations will continue on Sunday. The Army Black Hawk Helicopter (above) was picking up 500 gallons of water and dumping it on the fire about every 10 minutes.
Upper photos courtesy of #Fire District 01; lower photo by CWN associate Ben Dottridge

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