GFD battles fire on Easter Sunday; one fireman ill due to heat

The RAWS will provide Forestry personnel with real-time, on-the-ground data for wildfires.

One firefighter is ill after battling a massive blaze near Leo Palace on Easter Sunday for 13 hours.

The community is praising the efforts of firefighters over the weekend as they kept the massive fire from reaching homes.

Pictures and video of the blaze shared on social media show smoke and flames moving close to homes in the area.

While no property damage was reported, GFD spokesman Kevin Reilly says that a firefighter was checked and treated at the scene for possible heat-related illness.

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Firefighters from the Piti and Agat fire stations along with a tanker from Andersen battled the large grass fire throughout the day and well into the night on Sunday.

Reilly said that firefighters were up against high winds and dry conditions but they were able to bring the fire under control just before midnight.

Guam Forestry Division’s Chief Forester Christine Fejeran told PNC that the area is prone to fires this time of the year, adding that investigations are ongoing into the Santa Rita Race Track fire and the channel 10 fire from two weeks ago.

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“So investigators from the Guam Fire Department and the Guam Forestry went out there and investigated that first fire and without giving too much information on that because it’s still ongoing, we were able to determine that we did find origin, area of origin and that it was an intentionally set fire,” Fejeran said.

The cause and origin of Easter Sunday’s grass fire will be investigated, but at this time it is not known if the fire was intentionally set.

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“When we go out and conduct investigations we talk to all witnesses. So in this case, it’s going to be just people who may have observed anything from vehicles to when they spotted the fire for the first time. There’s a process and we will follow that process but anyone with information, we encourage them to contact Guam Fire Department,” Fejeran said.

Fejeran says Guam Forestry is in the process of mapping the fire but according to the data provided by GFD, Easter Sunday’s blaze burned 150 acres of land.