A fire that ignited in a field Sunday afternoon behind a residence on Southwest Janet Way southeast of Philomath burned approximately a half-acre, Philomath Fire & Rescue reported.
The local fire department responded at 12:45 p.m. Oct. 9 to a report of a spreading grass fire and upon arrival estimated the blaze at about a quarter-acre and spreading to trees.
Deputy Fire Chief Rich Saalsaa said an investigation determined that the fire had been “started by a riding lawn mower in tall grass, likely dry grass accumulation around the exhaust pipe catching fire and dropping down into the grass surrounding the mower.”
The lawn mower’s operator heard a noise behind him and saw the spreading fire and called 911. In the meantime, Saalsaa said he ran after a garden hose and fire extinguisher to attempt to hold the fire back from an adjacent barn.
There were no reported injuries and the mower was not damaged, Saalsaa added.
Janet Way is located just down the road from the intersection Airport Avenue and Bellfountain Road a little over 4 miles southeast of Philomath
“Residents of our district are reminded that we have had another long period of warm and dry weather that will persist for several days,” Saalsaa said. “Extra caution needs to be taken around mowing or parking in tall grass.”
Fire season was pushed back until Oct. 15 and could be extended again if the weather doesn’t significantly change, Saalsaa added.
Fire & Rescue sent a tender with two personnel, a grass rig with three personnel and a brush truck with four personnel from Station 201 in Philomath. An engine with one person and a tender with one person also arrived at the scene from Station 203 in Inavale. Two chief officers arrived to manage the scene and the Corvallis Fire Department sent a brush truck and tender. Monroe answered the call as well but was canceled en route.