Update: The property owner from the fire off Hardin Ridge Road contacted the Bloomingtonian and said the fire was actually about half an acre.
A firefighter was injured when the utility vehicle they were traveling in rolled down as they were responding to a fire on Hardin Ridge Road Wednesday afternoon according to Monroe Fire Protection District Public Information Officer Jason Allen. The fire began after a burn pile was left unattended, and smoke could be seen from across Lake Monroe.
The fire was on private property but was accessed from Hardin Ridge Road, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
A large section of Central Indiana will be under a Red Flag Warning Thursday, which means humidity is low, and conditions are such that fire weather can cause fire to spread rapidly.
Here is a press release from the MFD about Wednesday’s fire, and the injury of the firefighter:
Monroe County, Indiana, October 19, 2022 – Monroe Fire Protection District was called to Hardin Ridge Rd in the Hoosier National Forest around 2:15 pm this afternoon for a brush fire.
Initial reports from dispatch stated that a fire was burning out of control and was getting close to several homes and boats. A column of smoke could be seen from across Lake Monroe as
firefighters responded to the call. Additional fire units were then requested from Marshall Township Fire Department in Lawrence County due to the close proximity to the county line. When MFD firefighters arrived, they located a brush fire behind two homes that was being blown down a hill and toward another property by the wind. Firefighters immediately began working to create a fire line around the fire to contain it with leaf blowers, hand tools, and a UTV.
While working on the fire line one firefighter, who was operating the UTV, was injured when it rolled down the hill. Firefighters immediately began treating the injured firefighter and called for
an ambulance to the scene. Additional firefighters from MFD and Pleasant Run Township in Lawrence County were also sent to the scene to assist with fire operations. The injured firefighter was initially semi-unresponsive after the accident but by the time they were loaded into the ambulance they were alert and talking to fellow first responders. The injured firefighter was transported by ambulance to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for further evaluation.
As firefighters tended to the injured firefighter others were able to establish a fire line and contain the fire to just under two acres. Firefighters remained on scene for an extended period of time working to cool all hot spots and cut up several logs for extinguishment. Once the majority of the hot spots were extinguished MFD units were released by US Forestry Firefighters
out of Bedford who had also been called to the scene as the property is in the US National Forest.
The injured firefighter was checked at the hospital where they were later released. The fire was started by an unattended burn pile in the backyard. MFD would like to thank Marshall
Township Fire Department and Pleasant Run Township Fire Department from Lawrence County, the US Forestry Service from Bedford, and IU Lifeline Ambulance Service for their assistance on today’s brush fire.