CHAMPION TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — The Ohio Division of Forestry is reminding people to be careful burning outdoors just one day after crews battled a large brushfire in Champion Township.

“You should always be careful when you’re burning anything outside,” said David Parrott, program administrator for the Ohio Division of Forestry.

The fire triggered a large response as crews went deep into the woods to get to work containing it. The fire started Sunday evening but firefighters remained on the scene into the early morning hours of Monday.

New drone video from the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency shows a direct bird’s eye view of Sunday’s large brushfire off Nezbar Drive. Champion Township Fire Chief Tom Dempsey says it burned an estimated 70 acres.

“While we were extinguishing that fire, we did find a little campsite that was set up in the middle of the operation. So we’re not done with our investigation yet but that’s kinda where it’s leaning,” Dempsey said.

The fire was deep in the woods. With the terrain and wetlands, it was a little bit challenging to get to, but fire departments used some technology to help assist in their firefighting efforts. Through the use of the EMA office drone and its infrared technology, firefighters were able to get a better picture of how large the fire was and where to target their efforts.

“Once it got dark, we were able to use the infrared technology and see if there was any free-burning areas still. If there was spreading, you know, which area it was spreading to. So I mean, it was very helpful,” Dempsey said.

According to Dempsey, two brush units blew out tires when attempting to get through the wooded terrain. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources also sent resources to help. Due to access issues, the department used a bulldozer to clear the brush, along with manpower to assist the crews already on the scene.

Among those at the scene included:

  • Bloomfield Volunteer Fire Department
  • Mecca Township Volunteer Fire Department
  • Bristol Fire Department
  • Warren Fire Department
  • Champion Township Fire Department
  • Southington Fire Department
  • Farmington Township Fire Department
  • Bazetta Fire Department
  • Trumbull EMS

Dempsey says dry conditions contributed to the spread of the fire. With the dry stretch of weather expected to continue this week, officials are concerned about the enhanced fire risk.

Parrott says when it comes to outdoor fires, you should check with your local fire department for recommendations and make sure any fire is at least 100 feet away from wooded areas.

“The most important thing is to always monitor any open fire that you have and make sure it’s completely extinguished before walking away from that fire,” Parrott said.

The fire in Champion Township has since been contained, but crews will continue to monitor the area as a precaution.

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Tino DiCenso contributed to this report.