Crews from the Keizer Fire District extinguish a blaze that began on a log jam in Wallace House Park (Submitted).
On Monday, July 1, at 8:21 a.m., Keizer Fire District responded to a brush fire at Wallace House Park near the edge of the river. Marion County Fire District, Salem Fire Department and City of Keizer Public Works Department also were on the scene.
When KFD arrived at the park at 8:29 a.m., firefighters found large piles of trees and limbs burning that had been washed up by flood waters over time. Access was extremely difficult due to overgrown trails and there was no way to drive brush trucks down to the fire, according to KFD Fire Marshal Ann-Marie Storms.
“The fire could initially only be accessed on foot. Everything had to be hand carried in including three portable fire pumps that each weight 35 pounds and aren’t designed to be carried in that kind of terrain,” Storms said. “Trails to the river access were unmaintained so firefighters were carrying heavy equipment over and under downed trees and making new trails to access the fire.”
After several hours, a local homeowner was able to assist by moving their trailer and taking a gate off the property, which allowed firefighters to take two brush trucks across the property. City of Keizer staff used the same access trail to bring a small excavator down to the scene to move logs and help extinguish the fire.
KFD didn’t clear the scene until 8:13 p.m.
The cause of the fire is unknown and not being investigated.