BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - A grass fire kept Orange Beach fire crews busy on Saturday, Sept. 7. It's located on Robinson Island, which is in Perdido Pass near Orange Beach, Alabama.
Orange Beach Fire Chief Shane Phillips said the fire that spread on Robinson Island burned nearly 6 of the island’s 12 acres and forced firefighters into a dangerous situation.
“There were times out here that guys couldn’t see their hands in front of their face. With the fact that it’s an island, you can’t just run back to the truck out here to get something you forgot,” said Phillips.
Now they’re learning more about the blaze which Phillips said, the wind helped spread quickly out of control.
Officials said the fire began around 1:45 p.m. Fire crews responded to the island by boat.
Chief Phillips said it took around a total of 4 hours to get the fire contained. He said an investigation is still underway but, he says signs of an accelerated lean toward the fire being intentional.
Phillips said, during the investigation, a K9 alerted officials to the suspected cause.
“This is an area where people just don’t come hang out. We’d hate to think someone would do this intentionally, but we are ruling it intentional. The dog alerted us to an ignitable liquid and it’s just not something we’d see on this island,” Phillips said.
Chief Phillips says the fire put numerous people and animals in jeopardy.
“There are people hanging out on the west side of the beach. This isn’t something we wanted them to deal with. We were worried about the safety of our guys and the animals on the island,” said Phillips.
Officials say they plan to check out security camera video from around the area.
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