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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Firefighter Injured Battling Wildland Fire in Monroe County Wednesday Afternoon

HARDIN RIDGE - October 19, 2022 – Monroe Fire Protection District was called to the 8300 block of East Hardin Ridge Road in the Hoosier National Forest around 2:15pm this afternoon for a brush fire.

Firefighters respond to the 8300 block of East Hardin Ridge Road Wednesday afternoon

Initial reports from dispatch stated that a fire was burning out of control and was getting close to several homes and boats.

A column of smoke could be seen from across Lake Monroe as firefighters responded to the call. Additional fire units were then requested from Marshall Township Fire Department in Lawrence County due to the close proximity to the county line.

When Monore County Fire Protection District firefighters arrived, they located a brush fire behind two homes that was being blown down a hill and towards another property by the wind.

Firefighters immediately began working to create a fire line around the fire to contain it with leaf blowers, hand tools, and a UTV.

While working on the fire line one firefighter, who was operating the UTV, was injured when it rolled down the hill.

Firefighters immediately began treating the injured firefighter and called for an ambulance to the scene.

Additional firefighters from Monroe Fire Protection District and Pleasant Run Township in Lawrence County were also sent to the scene to assist with fire operations.

The injured firefighter was initially semi unresponsive after the accident but by the time they were loaded into the ambulance they were alert and talking to fellow first responders. The injured firefighter was transported by ambulance to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for further evaluation.

As firefighters tended to the injured firefighter others were able to establish a fire line and contain the fire to just under two acres. Firefighters remained on scene for an extended period of time working to cool all hot spots and cut up several logs for extinguishment.

Once the majority of the hot spots were extinguished Monroe Fire Protection District units were released by US Forestry Firefighters out of Bedford who had also been called to the scene as the property is in the US National Forest.

Monroe and Lawrence County has not joined over 21 Southern Indiana Counties who have burn bans. However, local fire officials have asked residents to refrain from any outside burning until a significant amount of rain has fallen.

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