Bad Golf Shot Starts Wildfire

Saturday, September 04, 2010

A bad slice into the rough not only can burn a golf score but also the surrounding terrain. That’s what a golfer at Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine, California, found out on August 28 when he hit a rock while chipping his way back onto the course behind the fourth green. The rock strike apparently produced a spark that immediately ignited the dry brush, setting a blaze that eventually consumed 25 acres. It took 150 firefighters, 38 trucks, 53 helicopter drops and 22,000 gallons of water to put the brush fire out. No homes were damaged, and no charges were filed against the golfer.

Although suspicions immediately arose that the golfer had actually been smoking, club officials confirmed that neither the golfer nor the other members of his party—his wife and another couple—were smokers. Steve Buck, the general manager of Shady Canyon, also dismissed the skeptics, noting that a similar incident happened a few years ago, but that that time the golfer had been able to put out the fire before it spread.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Fire Department: Golfer Sparks 12-acre Blaze (by Tom Ragan, Los Angeles Times)


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