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Official says mountain fire not unusual

April 15, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

Though smoke and at least one helicopter were visible from the Sheetz store at Md. 66 and U.S. 40, a fire official said a mountain fire at Greenbrier State Park was not out of the ordinary.

The fire was reported in the state park off Mountain Laurel Road, north of Keadle Road, just after 4:30 p.m., said Terry Stouffer, chief of the Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Department.

Stouffer said the fire, which was nearly one mile from the road, grew to an area of nearly 3 acres at its peak. Still, he said there was nothing especially odd about the fire.

"It's that time of year, again," Stouffer said after speaking with several volunteers at the scene.

He said the fire was never close to homes in the area and did not cause significant damage to the state park.

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Firefighters who arrived at the scene assembled gear and prepared all-terrain vehicles that were used to get responders closer to the scene.

Stouffer said the vehicles would only get the firefighters so far up the steep trail.

"That's normal getting in there for a mountain fire, not being able to get your vehicles in," Stouffer said.

About 75 firefighters responded to the scene from as far as Clear Spring and Middletown, Md., he said.

Stouffer said the scene was cleared at about 9:30 p.m.

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