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Kids+Brush Fires

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  • Kids+Brush Fires

    Recently our town has been running atleast 1 brush fire a day, some days were running up to 5 or 6 seperate fires. All of the fires we have been running have been in secluded areas which endanger either the railroad in town, or the highway. We've had to cancel numerous trains and shut down traffic on our highways in order to extinguish these fires. Most of which are deemed arson, and lit by kids. So what is it with kids, do they love to see fire, or the fire trucks? I never can figure it out. Anyone having similar problems? How does your local P.D. handle kids who start fires? Let me know

  • #2
    One fire might be an experiment or an accident (had a couple acres go up one day...two twelve years olds where, um, "learning how to smoke" while fishing and threw the cig when it burned one of them's fingers! Threw it right into tall, dry grass on a windy day...)

    Multiple fires -- that's an acting up. Vandalism, theft, violence all could grow out of it -- fires are just one of the more anonymous activities they might start with. There's probably some pysch/social problems behind it.


    • #3
      FEMA has some good information on the usfa site.

      Initially, juveniles may set fires out of being curious.

      Later on if they are setting fires they may need to be counseled, however even if its their first fire (which you never really know) I would talk to them.

      If you contact me at 970-879-2060 EXT 205 I can fedex you some books and forms that work great in counseling juveniles. Including a FEMA sponsored checklist and a list of questionaires for parents and teachers etc.

      Get them now before they become a problem later on and do some serious damage.


      • #4
        i think alot of it is ignorance, a couple of my stupid friends forgot to put out a campfire, and the next day i went to where they were camping and saw the slow burn marks over maybe 25 square yards, they were asleep when it burned, and it was very minor,(just blackened the bottom of trees, etc. but everyones so stupid nowadays the just dont even know.


        • #5
          Brush fire season has come early here in NH. Dry as a burnt boot filled with whiskey. Sure that some of our fires were kids and matches as it was school vacation week. Maybe if the adults showed more care the younger generation would take the hint also.
          I know our PD has proscuted a few child related arsons, but I think the crux of the issue is parental ambivalence and lack of discipline and lack of good in school fire education on our parts.

          FF/EMT Jay Ellingson
          Newington,NH FD
          New England Dragway Safety Team (Sundaaayy!)
          *N.E.D. celebrates 35 years of excitement as a post-NHRA and current IHRA drag racing venue! Come on by and watch the great action at RT27 Epping, NH(Exit 8 off of Rt 101)*
          New England Dragway is the home of the IHRA North American Nationals Sept 7-9 2001


          • #6
            We always seem to start our brush fire season when the kids go on break. While this is not proven, I think some of it is boredom, some of it is their older siblings do it, and some of it is riding four wheelers in the dry grass.
            Actually over the past few years the number of fires has decreased because if we can catch the kids they are arrested and some sort of action is take.
            My chief says it is "POOF" spontaneous combustion. I wonder how three separate areas spontaneously ignite almost simultaneouslyand follow pour marks?

            Great topic. Its good to know were not the only ones with this problem.

            Shawn M. Cecula
            Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2


            • #7
              As an Explorer I am very embarrassed by the actions of those individuals who might be called my peers. I want you to know that not all kids are like that. Most of the ones that are are either bored or mentally ill. The boredom is the hardest of the two to beat. What self-respecting pre-adolecent boy wants to go to some after school program when he can be out playing "G.I. Joe Firewar"? God, I'm glad I was a bookworm.



              • #8
                You have one of the best places for knowledge for jv. fire setter. Contact Milford FD. They have a great program and alot off information.

                Jason Geary
                Town of COlonie, NY
                Maplewood Vol. FD www.mvfd-ems.org


                • #9
                  It's hard telling what motivates them; if you caught one red-handed he'd probably say "I dunno."

                  One problem is a lack of recognition from PD & other authorities about how serious this is. A little bit of burned grass does not seem serious, until you realize that Jeffrey Dahmer started out torturing rodents before graduating to murder and cannibalism.

                  If they're just doing it to see the FD jump, try sending a minimal response--one apparatus--and NOT running lights and sirens. Just cruise in casually and put the thing out.

                  We don't run lights on any of our brush fires unless we have an indication of a serious and immediate threat to property or dangerous goods. Our brush fire call volume is much lower than that of neighboring departments that do run "hot"; I have to think that figures into it.


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