OWINGS MILLS, Md. —
UPDATE (April 5) -- Baltimore County fire officials reported a brush fire in the Owings Mills are has been fully contained.
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#update #owingsmills WILDFIRE | CMD reports fire contained. Crews worked through the night to limit the spread of fire and continue to put out hot spots. Previous road closures remain in effect. #bcofd TF pic.twitter.com/Z3RPXWRJE1— Baltimore County Fire Department (@BaltCoFire) April 5, 2023
Fire crews worked through the night to limit the spread of fire and continue to put out hot spots.
Roads will remain closed as crews are returning to their respective stations.
Baltimore County fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost said fire crews quickly recognized this fire was not a typical brush fire and they immediately called for additional assistance, which led to eight alarms.
"That is a huge incident," Armacost said.
Armacost said the last time the county has had something of this size and scope was in the 1970s when there was a fire and explosion in Upperco.
"It has literally been that long since we've had something of this magnitude," Armacost said.
The brush fire damaged hundreds of acres. Deputy Fire Chief Francis DiPaula said brush fires in Baltimore County are usually around 5 to 10 acres in size and that this was the largest fire spread that he has seen in the county.
Raw video above: Officials provide update Wednesday morning
Two outbuildings were destroyed, but no homes were destroyed. Firefighters are checking for damage, Armacost said. As many as 29 homes were evacuated. All evacuated residents are safe to return to their homes, fire officials tweeted shortly after 3 p.m.
The American Red Cross of the National Capital and Greater Chesapeake Region said its trained disaster responders will continue to work alongside county officials to support the households displaced and impacted by the Owings Mills fire. Any residents with disaster-related needs can call 800-RED-CROSS for assistance.
Baltimore County Fire Chief Joanne Rund said residents' cooperation in evacuating was critical in the operation and to maintain safety.
Additional air drops of water are planned through Wednesday afternoon to ensure a threat of additional fire has passed, Armacost said.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski thanked career and volunteer firefighters from across Central Maryland for their assistance.
"This is really unprecedented," Olszewski said. "This was truly an all-hands-on-deck effort."
A cause of the fire remains under investigation.
ORIGINAL STORY (April 4): Crews are still working to extinguish a massive brush fire that spread rapidly Tuesday afternoon in the Owings Mills area, officials said.
Baltimore County fire Lt. Travis Francis said crews were called around 3 p.m. to the Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, where heavy smoke was billowing from the area. SkyTeam 11 reported that the smoke was visible from the opposite side of the county.
| VIDEO BELOW: SkyTeam 11 shows extent of massive brush fire
Francis said the fire had escalated to an unprecedented eight alarms in area of Deer Park Road and Berryman's Lane. Officials reported the fire was 90% contained as of 10 p.m., and crews would remain on scene overnight to continue efforts to extinguish the fire.
Francis said crews were having difficulty shuttling water to the area, which is a rural area without fire hydrants.
Officials evacuated 29 houses and are asking residents to avoid the area. Police said the following roads have been closed: Deer Park Road at Dolfield Road, Deer Park Road at Wards Chapel Road and Deer Park Road at Berryman's Lane.
The Department of Natural Resources also announced that all of the Soldiers Delight park areas will be closed until further notice.
No injuries were immediately reported, Francis said. Fire officials said there were reports of a missing hiker, but that person was found safe.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olsewski shared a statement saying, "I am actively monitoring the brush fire at Soldiers Delight Park and thank the 200+ heroic firefighters from Baltimore County Fire, Carroll and Frederick Counties and the Forest Service for fighting this now 8-alarm incident. Please avoid the area at this time!"
Raw video below: News conference from Lt. Francis
Gov. Wes Moore also shared his thoughts, saying, "We are closely monitoring the brush fire that broke out this afternoon at Soldiers Delight in Owings Mills. Our agencies are onsite and are supporting the teams of firefighters from across central Maryland who are working to contain and extinguish the blaze."
WBAL-TV 11 Weather meteorologist Tony Pann said weather radar was picking up on the smoke in the area.
Video below: SkyTeam 11 reports from over brush fire