A wildfire that engulfed a large portion of an open field in Koblerville yesterday gave a scare to nearby residents as the flames crept nearer to homes in the area, but Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services crew were soon able to put the blaze under control.
DFEMS spokesperson Derric Gersonde said the fire hasn’t been put completely out as of 5pm and DFEMS personnel stayed back to make sure the fire remained under control.
In a statement, DFEMS said that dispatch received a call around 1:58pm, reporting a grass fire in Koblerville across the Saint Jude Parish church.
Rescue-1 from Susupe Fire station, Engine-2 from Garapan Fire station and Forestry-3 from the Kagman Fire Station were immediately, dispatched to the location, with the first unit arriving on scene at 2:07pm, Gersonde said.
He said the fire was controlled at 3:05pm and that no one was hurt and treated at the scene for medical complaints in relation to the fire.
Gersonde blames the recent string of wildfires on the extended period of dry weather that the CNMI is currently experiencing.
Last Friday, DFEMS also put out a large brushfire in As Gonno, right next to the Coral Ocean Point. The fire was controlled at around 3pm.
In light of the current dry season, DFEMS has ceased all burning permits until further notice. “Due to extended dry season and lack of personnel due to the response of COVID-19, DFEMS has ceased all burning permits until further notice. We will reevaluate once we experience widespread measurable rain and are cleared from the COVID-19 pandemic,” DFEMS said.