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Crews tackle two field fires in one night

Teenagers admit to starting blaze while playing with fireworks

COURTESY PHOTOS: FOREST GROVE FIRE & RESCUE - About one-quarter of an acre on David Hill Road burned after teenagers playing with fireworks set a field ablaze July 7.Forest Grove Fire & Rescue has been busy this month. Since July 1, the agency has responded to eight fires — including two vehicle fires, one structure fire and a few smaller fires started by cigarettes in bark dust.

Last Tuesday evening alone, FGF&R crews responded to a pair of field fires.

The first fire was on Southwest Springhill Road near Southwest Sandstrom. The second was on David Hill Road.

The Springhill Road fire burned about 10 acres and was likely started by farm equipment. Field fires started by farming equipment are “somewhat common when our local family farmers are harvesting their fields. It's hard to prevent, but can be caused by the combine hitting a rock, or even an overheated part on their equipment,” FGF&R officials wrote on their Facebook page.

The second fire of the evening burned a smaller parcel, about one-quarter of an acre. Two teenage boys started the fire while playing with fireworks.

FGF&R summarized the scene and investigation: “These two teenagers did a very honorable thing when they walked up to the Forest Grove Police Sergeant and said they were responsible. The son of our family farmer was talking to a few news reporters about all of it, and when he got done with that he walked up to the two teenagers sitting next to the police car awaiting their fate, and he told them how much it meant to him that they stayed and took responsibility for this. This field fire on Southwest Springhill Road likely started from hot farm equipment and burned 10 acres.

"He explained briefly how this field is his family's livelihood and how they depend on that crop for income, he patted each of the boys on the shoulder and said thank you for staying and doing the right thing ... Hopefully the two teenage boys learn a valuable lesson here, not only from the incident, but from this forgiving young man.”

There is still a burn ban in Washington County and campfires are allowed but must be attended at all times.

Despite some cooler temperatures and light rain, the fire danger is still ranked as moderate.