Juvenile starts small NE Bend brushfire

Fire crews catch it early, offer early-season reminders

By KTVZ.COM news sources
POSTED: 9:54 PM PDT April 23, 2013    UPDATED: 8:17 AM PDT April 24, 2013 
Bend fire truck (generic)
BEND, Ore. -

Bend police apprehended a juvenile who apparently started a small brushfire Tuesday in northeast Bend, prompting early-season reminder and tips from fire officials to head off disaster.

Fire crews responded around 4:30 p.m. to a reported brushfire off the 2700 block of NE Conners Avenue, near 27th Street, with juveniles seen running from the scene, said Bend fire Capt. Karl Findling.

They arrived to find the small fire burning in light, dead grasses, having spread to heavier brush and trees due to the breezy conditions, Findling said. They quickly extinguished the fire, which occurred in a wooded area of a large vacant lot by a large neighborhood, he said.

Finding reminded residents that open, vacant fields can be a magnet for juveniles and transients, and that is a leading cause of such fires each year.

The fire captain urged residents to keep combustibles away from structures, mow tall grasses to slow a fire’s spread and report any suspicious activity. Findling also said land owners, in rural or urban areas, should create fire breaks around them and have firefighting tools readily available.

Finally, he said, keep matches and lighters away from young and unsupervised children.