Reporter: LuVerne Grussing
Site or Address:
One half mile up Cottonwood Creek, off Reubens/Gifford Rd
Cause: High winds blew tree over power line, breaking an 18,000 volt line which was arcing and sparking in brush underneath the line.
AJFPD Vehicles Responding: Chevy Crew Cab
Other Departments Responding:
AJFPD Members Responding, Activities, and Hours:
Nez Perce County Dispatch sent out a fire call at 4:34 am, November 5, 2022 reporting a downed powerline that was arcing and igniting nearby brush, and potentially a camper on fire. LuVerne Grussing, Gene Wightman, Jim Sherman, Ben Smith, Mike Erickson, Connie Marshall and Khristie Pascoe responded to the Fire Station. Grussing, Sherman, Wightman, and Smith departed the Fire Station in the Chevy Crew Cab, while Erickson, Marshall, and Pascoe awaited further information on additional personnel and equipment that might be needed.
The Nez Perce County Sheriff had the Reubens/Gifford Road blocked off at Highway 12 and at the south end of the scene near the Cottonwood Community Church. When we arrived at the downed power line, it was indeed arcing and sparking, but thanks to very heavy rains on November 4, the brush and nearby trees were very wet and did not catch fire. We called the crew remaining at the Fire Station to let them know that no further assistance was needed. The AJFPD crew remained on site as a precaution until Clearwater Power arrived to cut power to the line. We assisted Clearwater Power by towing their boom truck which had mired down in the mud, and were released from the site and returned to the Fire Station at 9:25 am.
AJFPD personnel responding:
Although the fire scene was outside our Fire District boundaries, it was within the Subscription Call Out Area, and in the area covered by our mutual aid agreement with Nez Perce County Fire. The Nez Perce County Sheriff’s office provided traffic control and assisted in getting Clearwater Power to the scene. Nez Perce County Fire did not respond, and did not contact us.