OHIO —Ohio Fire Department responded to a brush fire Monday afternoon just off of Route 26, north of the village.
The department received a call around 1:30 p.m. about the fire at 384 Reuter Road, four miles north of Ohio. Eight departments responded to the call, including Ohio, Amboy, Sublette, Walnut, Harmon, LaMoille, Princeton and Arlington.
Ohiofire chief Keith Ackerman said there were around 35 firemen and 10 tankers working to contain the fire. Brush trucks also were on scene.
The origin of the fire came from burning brush pile in a field. Ackerman said a contractor was using an excavator to clear a tree line along the fence. The contractor was burning the brush when the wind changed direction. The fire ended up spreading to big round bales of cornstalks and hay. He said probably 50 to 60 bales caught on fire.
The fire was cause for concern due to nearby fence lines and buildings, including a house about 100 yards from the fire. The fire chief said there were no injuries and there is no estimated damage at this time.
Ackerman estimates that the fire department used about 100,000 gallons of water from Ohio alone. The rest of the water came from Amboy. He said they had tankers delivering water from 2:30 until about 8:30 or 9 p.m.
The fire spot, though contained, still was smoldering this morning.
In order to tame the fire, excavators had to spread the bales and douse them in water. The fire covered a wide area, and produced a lot of heavy smoke, he added.
Lee Strubinger can be reached at (815) 879-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.