Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 19 Jan 2019 12am







    Sunday, January 20, 2019-1:18:51P.M.






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Brush fire at Wireless Ridge; blaze destroys CK house

THE Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to a brush fire that spread  due to erratic winds at Wireless Ridge, Monday evening.

DFEMS also responded to a structure fire in Chalan Kanoa early Tuesday morning.

DFEMS spokesman Derek Gersonde said at 12:49 a.m., the fire agency received a call from the Department of Public Safety regarding a possible structure fire near Smiling Poker in Chalan Kanoa.

A Chalan Kanoa house was destroyed by fire on Tuesday. Photo by Bryan ManabatA Chalan Kanoa house was destroyed by fire on Tuesday. Photo by Bryan Manabat

Gersonde said at 12:51 a.m., Rescue-1 from the Susupe Fire Station and Medic-4 from the Koblerville Fire Station responded to the location.

Engine-2, which had responded to the grass fire at Wireless Ridge at that time, also responded to the structure fire in Chalan Kanoa.

At 12:50 a.m., the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., the Commonwealth Ports Authority-Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting unit and the American Red Cross-NMI chapter were contacted, Gersonde said.

The fire was reported controlled at 3:38 a.m.

Gersonde said the Arson Investigation Unit’s preliminary scene investigation indicated that the fire originated from the second floor. Arson investigators were still at the scene on Tuesday.

No one was injured and no treatment was provided at the fire scene, Gersonde added.

In a separate media release, the American Red Cross said it provided the fire victims with their immediate emergency needs for food clothing and shelter. 

“In total, five families (18 individuals) were assisted by the American Red Cross including occupants of the dwellings that were destroyed by the fire, as well as residents near the incident who were unable to remain in their homes due to toxic smoke in the area.”

Brush fire

At Wireless Ridge, the brush fire was reported to have started early Monday evening.

 At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Gersonde said the winds had steadied at 9-11 mph but had gusted up to 20 mph.

The winds had caused an erratic fire behavior with the fire spreading at 5-10 yards a minute, he said.

“The erratic wind and dry fuels (grass and brushes) have caused the fire to cross the Wireless Ridge road at about 2 a.m. early [Tuesday] morning,” he added. “We activated our second strike team at midnight because of this erratic behavior.”

A burned area off  Ridge Road, Tuesday. Photo by Anthony GregoireA burned area off Ridge Road, Tuesday. Photo by Anthony Gregoire

At 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Gersonde said the brushfire was still not contained and they were still battling the fire.

He said the brushfire started west side of Wireless Ridge and spread to northwest and north, wrapping around Mt. Sisu.

“So far we been able to protect structures and prevented damage  to those structures,” Gersonde added.

In addition to regular firefighters, DFEMS had activated the wildland forestry unit to help put out the brushfire, Gersonde said, adding that it was hard to predict when the fire could be controlled.

 Additional information will be provided as soon as available, he said.