Timing is everything.
Three hours after arriving Wednesday in Brainerd, a water bomber airplane was needed to combat a large grass fire that broke out on Oak Ridge Road, south of the city.
The water bomber was one of two Canadian CL-215s stationed at Ely this summer. It had just arrived at the Brainerd airport at noon. The pilots, Jean Guy Arsenault and Denis Boulanger, were in a meeting when called out to the blaze.
Both the DNR and the Brainerd Fire Department were called at 3:18 p.m. to the property, owned by Marlin Swanberg and located southeast of the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds.
Brainerd firefighters knocked down the hot spots in the woods as the water bomber dropped its loads overhead.
The cause of the fire was attributed to heat from an all-terrain vehicle. Though structures were threatened, there was no damage. The fire was knocked down by 4:52 p.m.
The DNR was still at the scene today because of the possibility of peat burning.
The bomber is scheduled to stay in Brainerd until Sunday. The two bombers have been used in several grass fires, including one in Crookston.
Flying low over lakes and scooping up water, the CL-215s can pick up about 1,400 gallons in eight seconds.
(Staff Writer Matt Erickson contributed to this story.)
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