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Farmer starts scrap wood fire at Kadena

Date Posted: 2009-10-01

A farmer working a vacant land plot within the Kadena Air Base boundaries accidentally started a fire in a pile of scrap wood, sending U.S. Air Force, Okinawa City and Kadena Town firefighters scrambling.

The fire was discovered about 7 a.m. Monday. A farmer had been burning trash on the previous afternoon next to a 2~4-meter high wood scraps pile 500 meters from Kadena Gate 3. I thought I had the fire put out, he later told authorities, but it looks like a small fire was left, and it went to the scrap wood. The fire brought fire engines from the military and two civilian jurisdictions to battle the blaze. It burned for 11 hours before it was extinguished shortly after six p.m.

Officials expressed relief the fire did not spread further across the farm land toward the Kadena Air Base Ammo storage area. The fire snarled traffic from Okinawa City to Kadena Gate 3, with only one traffic lane open and plenty of smoke.

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