High winds trigger downed trees, brush fires

Powerful winds raked through the Tri-Lakes area Thursday, toppling trees into power lines and sparking at least two small brush fires.

The Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department responded to multiple calls due to the high winds Thursday afternoon, according to Mike Cassavaugh, the department’s second assistant chief.

The first call was for a report of a large tree blocking both lanes of state Route 3, near the Saranac Lake school bus garage. Cassavaugh said a town of St. Armand crew had cleared the tree and reopened the road to traffic by the time the department arrived on scene.

Around 3 p.m., a second call came in for a report of a power line down near the intersection of Goldsmith Road and Route 3 in the town of Franklin. Cassavaugh said the exposed power line triggered a small grass and brush fire along Goldsmith Road. It burned a 30-by-100-foot area before it was extinguished by three members of the department, he said.

As they were headed back to the fire station, Bloomingdale firefighters were called out to Alder Brook Road, where a tree had toppled into a telephone line. It was initially reported as a downed power line, and a National Grid crew showed up to clear the tree from the road. Firefighters stood by and directed traffic, Cassavaugh said.

Another fire department truck was dispatched to county Route 26, Loon Lake Road, around the same time for a report of multiple trees across the road. Firefighters found nothing and returned to the station.

While they were at the station, Cassavaugh said a passerby reported that the fire on Goldsmith Road was burning again. The department sent a truck back to the scene to douse the area with water again.

“You could say we had a busy afternoon,” Cassavaugh said.

Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department members were also called to a wildland fire sparked by downed power lines at the Trading Post campground in Fish Creek, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Firefighters responded with one truck and secured the scene until National Grid could turn off the power. Firefighters then wet down the area before returning to their station.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.