A 2.3-acre fire along Highway 41 shortly south of Blackhawk Lodge near Road 207 was quickly contained by firefighters Monday afternoon.
Incident commander Bryan Cranbill said it took less than 20 minutes for crews to contain the blaze, which began around 12:50 p.m.
Kenneth Wright, who has lived in a home on the 17-acre property for 17 years, said he saw a “ton” of smoke as he came down on a Gator.
“I thought it had started across the highway,” Wright said. “The sheriff who responded was telling the neighbors to prepare to evacuate ... I thought it was somebody playing with fireworks, maybe a tossed cigarette, something like that.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Cranbill said.
Wright added in his opinion, firefighters “aren’t paid enough” and was grateful for their quick response.
“Imagine if they hadn’t gotten here in time,” said Wright, pointing out tall grasses along a fence near where the flames were stopped. “That would have gone up so fast. It would have been terrible. They’re terrific and deserve to be paid more.”
Engines that helped battle the blaze included 4255, 4295, 4264, 4275, 4361 and 8, as well as Water Tender 8 and the Mt. Bullion Crew.
Highway 41 was closed for about an hour, and both lanes were reopened around 2 p.m.