Firefighters put water down at the scene of a Highway 20 roadside fire Thursday afternoon. (Photo provided by Philomath Fire and Rescue)

Alert travelers on Highway 20 stopped and sprang into action Thursday afternoon to contain a roadside fire until units could arrive at a location just west of the Benton-Lincoln county line, Philomath Fire and Rescue reported.

Philomath Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Rich Saalsaa said the passersby used shovels, axes, water and fire extinguishers to limit the fire’s spread.

“Fire may have been caused by sparks from a power pole in the area,” Saalsaa said. “The wind was blowing in a favorable direction to push the fire towards the highway.”

The fire was contained to about 300 square feet, he said.

Blodgett-Summit Rural Fire responded with four personnel and the Oregon Department of Forestry was also at the scene. Philomath Fire and Rescue started out with four personnel but was canceled en route.

Saalsaa was on scene as incident commander and turned the scene over to ODF, which had a response that included a brush engine.