Hell Broken Loose: 30 Ha of Barley and 20 of Stubble on Fire
On Thursday, June 12th, around 14:30, the Crișana Inspectorate for Emergency Situations was called via 112 to intervene on a fire outbreak on an arable land, owned by a trading company, within Husasău de Tinca, the affected land being, according to the callers, more than 100 ha.
The conflagration – visible from as far as 30 km
On the scene were dispatched the military firefighters of the Tinca Squad, being also called the Voluntary Aid Service for Emergency Situations of Husasău de Tinca commune. Upon their arrival, the fire was violently developing, consuming entire hectares of stubble and cereal crops. The picture was a nightmare. The fire seemed to consume everything and, helped by the wind, was threatening to reach the forest nearby. The approach road though the field seemed to cross the Hell. A terrible heat surrounded them, with thick smoke, dust and flames of 10 m in height sometimes.
The military firefighters from Tinca ran at a stretch trying to stand against the unleashed fire. All over the place, one could see only flames and a thick cloud of smoke which could be seen from Salonta, at a distance of 30 km. The rescuers intervened in order to extinguish the fire but also to prevent it from spreading any further towards the forest nearby. For that purpose, they used first intervention means (brooms and beaters), as well as tractors, the latter being used to set up protective strips.
A 30-year old fire truck – servicing an area of more than 40 localities
As soon as they realized the immensity of the desaster, the firefighters from Tinca requested a second fire truck from the Salonta Firefighters Squad since the only truck in Tinca was the old APCA Roman type, burdened by the passing years and kilometres. Their colleagues from Salonta immediately started and brought a fire truck with water and foam of extended capacity. Unfortunately, this truck, also burdened by 25 years of use and countless interventions, reached the scene after almost 50 minutes. All this time, the flames and the strong wind unleashed constantly, the firefighters and the volunteers hardly managing to carry it off well and to please the locals who could not understand the reason for the delay of the second fire truck.
On the scene was also the mayor of the commune, eng. Mihai Faur who was appalled by the fact that the Tinca Firefighters Squad has only one fire truck, older than 30 years. The mayor is determined together with the mayors from the neighbouring localities to take the necessary steps to solve this problem. Within Husasău de Tinca area are hundreds of ha of crops and forest.
The area covered by the Tinca Squad is of approximately 600 square km, including seven communes, a total of 41 localities, each having lands and crops. Under these circumstances, the existence of only one old fire truck, covering such a wide area, seems like a bad joke. And this in a period when, over the last years, one has been talking ceaselessly about programs of renewal of the rolling stock for the fire stations.
With precarious facilities, but brave and worthy: the military firefighters saved a forest, 100 ha of wheat, an orchard and 25 bee hives.
The intervention itself took approximately three hours, being extremely difficult due to the strong wind which triggered the rapid spread of the fire and the escalation of the flames. The press release sent to our editorial staff by the Bihor Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, says that: „The investigations on the scene showed as probable cause of the event, the mechanic friction of a cropper, the chaff getting overheated in the machine, due to friction, while being harvested.”
From the same press release, we find out that approximately 30 ha of barley and 20 ha of stubble were consumed by fire, and 25 plum trees in one of the orchards nearby were also affected. At the same time, „the teams involved in the mission stopped the fire from spreading to the forest in the vicinity, thus managing to save: a wheat field of approximately 100 ha, over 50 fruit trees in the affected orchard and 25 bee hives, another orchard located in the vicinity of the fire points and a combine.”
The Romanian firefighter, this eternal anonymous fighter in the fire battles, has proven once more that, despite the precarious and old equipment, manages to successfully carry out his assignments and complies with the sworn oath of always serving those in need. Still, the afore mentioned intervention brings out painful truths as regards the Romanian firefighters' work.
In a decade when the renewal of the rolling stock of the fire stations is an extremely discussed matter and a concrete challenge, due to the programs started by international support funds, we ask ourselves, along with the mayors of the localities within the Tinca Fire Station intervention area, how is it possible that such a vast area should be serviced by only one fire truck, older than 30 years ?
How is it possible that in an area full of forests and crops, with 41 localities, with difficult and hard to reach roads due to the abrupt flanks (the fire truck cannot get to villages such as Valea Mare de Codru, Gruilung, Lupoaia in winter, blizzards or verglas), is not even a single fire truck to ensure the firefighters' intervention on such emergency situations ?
The firefighters are definitely serving the citizens, whether they live in a town or in a God forsaken village. We await, together with the mayors and the citizens of the localities in question, a relevant answer, or even a solution to this serious matter from the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations.