Crews from a number of Niagara County volunteer fire departments were called to fight brush fires over the weekend, including two in the Lewiston area.
A large fire was reported just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the Tuscarora Reservation, off Route 31, near Garlow Road. The fire, which could be seen for several miles, burned throughout the night, finally burning out at about 1 a.m. Monday, according to a volunteer from Lewiston No. 2 Fire Department.
The volunteer, who asked not to be identified, said that because the area was far off the road and in wooded swampland, volunteers were unable to fight it and waited for it to burn out on its own.
The cause of the fire was unknown, but Lewiston Police Chief Christopher Salada said fires on the Tuscarora Reservation have become a pattern in the spring.
“Every spring, they light up fires for regrowth of the shrubbery,” Salada said, noting that enforcement of any ordinances would be a “tricky issue.”
Crews in Lewiston were also called to respond to a brush fire at 1 a.m. Sunday that damaged a trailer at 5078 Garlow Road.
Sunday, a brush fire burned about two acres of land at 4206 Nelson Road in Wilson. South Wilson Volunteer Fire Department crews responded just before 1 p.m. and were able to contain the fire.
The homeowner, Richard E. Gagnon, 52, told Niagara County sheriff’s deputies that he had a small contained fire in his yard but that the strong winds spread the fire into the field. The fire burned the grass, but no property was damaged.
In the Town of Lockport, an open burn at 6054 Crosby Road just after 3:30 p.m. Saturday also appeared to have spread due to high winds, burning about three acres of land.
Peter J. Johnson, 28, of Hess Road, told deputies he started a small bonfire in a fire pit with his family, but the fire got out of control.
Johnson was charged with violating the town’s open-burn policy and was issued an appearance ticket.