Fighting fire under bad conditions

Around 4 p.m. on April 14 drivers encountered a smoky rush hour as a grass fire erupted at westbound I94 just north of 42nd Ave. in the North Mississippi Regional Park area.

The grass fire spread rapidly along a wooden sound barrier fence, affecting 250-300 yards according to the battalion chief on-scene. Crews fought the stubborn blaze from both the I94 and Mississippi Park side, but windy conditions hampered their abilities to contain the fire and attempts to use chainsaws to cut sections of fence to keep the fire from spreading were unsuccessful.

Three upgrades to the initial call were made, bringing a total of nearly 30 firefighters from engine and ladder companies across North and Northeast Minneapolis stations to get the fire under control. With only a lone hydrant at 49th and Mississippi Court, additional engines were needed as water tanks emptied and rigs had to be rotated out to refill.

Written by David Premack, a writer and photographer for Twin Cities Fire Wire.