PUBLIC SAFETY

Cause of grass fire Tuesday in Geer Park under investigation

A fire Tuesday evening at Geer Park burned just under a half-acre of grass before crews quickly put it out.

The Salem Fire Department is investigating what caused the fire, according to Emergency Manager Joe Hutchinson. 

An emergency dispatch report listed the fire as an arson but Hutchinson said he could not verify that. “I cannot confirm or deny until the Deputy Fire Marshal has completed their investigation,” he said in an email Wednesday morning.

One engine crew responded around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to the fire burning on the southeast Salem park’s grass, which the city had recently cut. 

The crew extinguished the blaze within about 30 minutes, Hutchinson said.

The fire burned as extreme heat is forecasted in the coming days in Salem.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 93 degrees Thursday, followed by three days with temperatures hitting triple digits.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.