10 acres of trees, brush burn


About 10 acres of trees and brush burned near Fort Meade Tuesday night and yesterday when fire raced through a dry, wooded area of Gambrills.

"It was pretty bad," said Steven P. Stadelman, a project manager with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. "It moved real fast."

The two-alarm fire started about 5 p.m. Tuesday in the 2900 block of Conway Road, said Gary Sheckells, spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. It was under control by 7:22 p.m. Fort Meade sent one fire engine to help the 15 county units.

The state Forest Service dug a fire break to contain the blaze Tuesday night. Crews spent half of yesterday stamping out smoldering hot spots.

No one was injured in the blaze, and there is no damage estimate. Yesterday, investigators were still trying to find out what caused the blaze and researching records to find out who owns the land.

Brush fires are common this time of year. The DNR has helped battle 433 brush fires that have burned 4,400 acres this year. Last year, 152 fires burned 1,280 acres, Mr. Zentz said. The increase is being fueled by leaves, dead wood from last year's ice storms, the lack of rain and afternoon winds, said H. Alan Zentz, DNR Forest Service fire supervisor. DNR is maintaining its highest priority alert through the weekend, a spokesman said.

Tuesday night's fire was among 11 brush fires in Anne Arundel County that day. There were 185 brush and woods fires in the county between March 15 and Tuesday, Chief Sheckells said.

The 10-acre blaze Tuesday marked the second time this season that the Forest Service had been brought in to help fight a fire. The service was called out March 17 for a 5-acre fire near Beverly Beach, Mr. Zentz said.

Most area fires are accidental, caused by such things as children playing with fire and motorists tossing burning cigarettes out car windows.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad