Windy conditions spark small wildfire in Winchester

Published 10:27 am Friday, February 10, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Though it was put out quickly by the Winchester Fire Department, a wildfire took hold near the intersection of Boonesboro and Bypass Road on Thursday afternoon. 

“We had a small grass fire,” said Battalion Chief August Fisher. “The fire [is] out and under control.” 

It’s approximated that the fire impacted between three to five acres of land and began at around 1:30 – 1:45 p.m. 

Email newsletter signup

“It looks like a tree fell on a power line,” he added. 

According to the website, downed power lines can ignite wildfires due to high-energy, high-temperature arcing that occurs even if a single energized line conductor breaks and falls to earth. Although power distribution systems contain protective short-circuit fault conditions and operate to limit damage, a high-impedance fault – or HiZ – leading to such arcing can still occur in approximately 30% of cases. 

Fortunately, no one was hurt and there is no property damage in the aftermath of the incident. 

While windy conditions that create power line issues can be unavoidable to the general public, the public interested in a burn can still take action during such conditions. 

“If they need to, they can always call the stations…to [find out] if it’s safe to burn or file a burn report if they do plan on burning,” Fisher added. “We do issue burn permits for people.”