Firefighters continue to monitor debris pile on Ogeechee Road af - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Firefighters continue to monitor debris pile on Ogeechee Road after fire

(Source: Savannah Fire and Emergency Services) (Source: Savannah Fire and Emergency Services)
(Source: SFES) (Source: SFES)

Savannah Fire says a large debris pile fire that started early Tuesday morning off Ogeechee Road is now contained.

The fire happened in the 4000 block of Ogeechee Road, near the 84 Lumber business.

A helicopter was brought out to assist from the air while multiple agencies battled the flames from the ground.

The fire department says the large debris pile is about 100 feet tall and 500 feet long. Captain Wayne Ifill says it’s full of large trees and stumps, some from Hurricane Matthew, that have been buried to decompose naturally. Several fire trucks and the Chatham County Mosquito Control helicopter were used to bring water to the site, and a few dump trucks brought in dirt to help smother the flames.

Despite being full of flammable materials, Ifill says this is only the second fire in about five years at this site. He says the department doesn’t deal with fires this large very often, and that makes the job harder.

“We’ll have open area fires, maybe just grass on fire, maybe one tree here or there, but something of this scale, we don’t deal with it a lot. So because we don’t deal with it a lot, it presents its own challenges for us. Especially like water. There’s no hydrants back there, so we’re having to bring water from Ogeechee, which is about 1000 feet from the site,” said Capt. Ifill, SFES.

Ifill says fire crews could remain at the site for the next several hours or even the next day. He says they won’t be finished until the pile stops smoldering and they can be sure the fire is completely out.

"Because it's all wood, the fire may be showing in one area, but it could've ran the length of that burn. We don't know where it's at, and we just keep seeing smoke. Right now, we have a decent hand on it. Just have a lot of smoke at this point, and until we're able to see where it is officially, that's the only way to know it's out,” Capt. Ifill said. 

There is no word on exactly what started the fire at this time.

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