Large brush fire in Joppatowne

JOPPA, Md. - A Sunday evening walk through the woods in Joppatowne is alarming.  We saw heavy smoke five hours after firefighters started working.

"We could smell it and then sometimes it would make me tear up so I would have to shut the car," said 11-year-old Saron Shara.    

The trees are close to toppling, too.  Black markings on the ground show where the fire swept through.

"We took a walk and that's when we seen the flames were coming up everywhere.  It was far back in the woods, it was far, far back," said Anisa Rodriguez, who lives nearby.  

The fire far back off Dembytown Rd. is the third brush fire reported since Friday.  This one on Easter Sunday requires the most crews.

Departments from surrounding cities and counties are helping out. 

"They have brush units which have portable pumps on them.  ATV's have specialized equipment on them.  And there's a path through the woods.  Unfortunately, we have to drive through people's yards to make access," said Chief Ryan Barrow, Joppa Magnolia Fire Company.    

Eighteen acres are in jeopardy.  At a point, the fire was creeping close to homes, but crews knocked it back quickly.

Still families in about 60 homes were forced to evacuate for three hours.

"The police were saying that they were worried it was spreading, so they wanted us to leave because of the smoke and everything like that," said Blanca Taylor, who lives nearby.    

The smoke will keep fire crews on alert for at least three days.  The National Weather Service issued a fire warning for the entire Baltimore area.

"Just so dry and low humidity basically," said Chief Barrow.   

So until there's a soaking rain, you're asked not to start a fire outside. 

"The wind feeds it so it spreads faster than we can get on top of it," said Chief Barrow.      

Now the Department of Public Works is using bulldozers to knock down trees and make sure no flames start back up.

Print this article Back to Top