Around 11:30 Monday Morning, the Spencerport Fire Department was called to Colby Farms between Colby Street and Route 531 for a report of a tractor fire. Upon arrival, they discovered a large brush fire seeing smoke for miles. Spencerport then called for backup, and 14 fire departments from three counties (Monroe, Genesee, and Orleans) were called to the scene.
“We found a farm tractor well involved with fire. In a rapidly extending grass and hay fire. At this point has consumed about 10-12 acres. We have been operating this fire for about two hours”. Spencerport Assistant Fire Chief Bill Hallinan said.
The weather has been so hot this week. Temperatures reached as high as 100 degrees while firefighters battled the flames. There were chemicals leaking, so the NYS DEC Spill Response team was called in to clear the chemical spill. Due to the hot temperatures and the amount of water needed for firefighters to cool down, three ambulance companies were called to the scene along with RTS buses from Rochester, to allow the firefighters to cool down.
“We have AMR, Gates Ambulance, Monroe Ambulance, the Spencerport exempts club and the plantation party house assisting us with rehabilitation of our members.” Hallinan added.
The fire was spreading so rapidly that it reached the median on Route 531, causing 531 to be shut down in both directions. 531 has since reopened to all traffic.
The fire cost Colby Farms around $500,000 due to the tractor being destroyed, and the large amount of hay bales that caught fire.
Hallinan added due to this drought and the fire risk this time of year, nobody should be discarding cigarettes, nobody should be parking their vehicles on dry grass, and be considerate of mulch around their house and other places that could start a fire. He also mentioned that if you see smoke, to call 911 as quickly as possible so the fire department can respond immediately and attack the fire before it gets hot and spreads to nearby areas.