Firefighters put out blaze on Potomac River island


Crews think the blaze started from a cooking or camping fire.

POTOMAC, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services responded to a fire on an island in the Potomac River Friday afternoon.

A plane flying overhead made the initial call for a small fire on Hermit Island, but when fire and rescue crews arrived, it was a much more demanding job than they expected.

“It was larger than anticipated, it was in an elevated area, crews had to climb about 50 or 60 feet in elevation and back into a fairly remote area,” said Pete Piringer of MCFRS.

Crews think the blaze started from a cooking or camping fire. MCFRS came prepared with the right equipment for the job.

“We would ferry equipment over, like portable pumps, hoses and personnel, they have to take other equipment for firefighting,” Piringer said.

MCFRS says it’s important for hikers, boaters and campers to exercise caution and safety when they come to the river.

“In those areas that you can have fires, make sure that you take the proper precautions, keep the combustibles away and when you leave make sure the fire is extinguished,” Piringer added.

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