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A Special Feature

"A pictorial history of the unique forest firefighting apparatus"
By Britton Crosby
First Posted January 2001 - Re-released April 2014
(Updated April 2014)


Page 16
Cape Cod Forest Fires
1950s - 1960s

On this page
16 - Forest Fires 1950s-1960s
                   1964 Carver
                   1965 Otis-Sandwich Forest Fire


Apparatus lined up at Cape brush fire.

A pumper, patrol truck, and brush breaker.

Brush breakers and tanker.

Brush breaker

This brush breaker was originally an airport crash truck.
It was turned into a brush breaker by the Town of Barnstable
and housed at Centerville.  It later served as the first fire truck
in the Forestdale section of Sandwich c.1967.



Cape Cod and Plymouth county brush breakers responded to a large
forest fire in Carver in May 1964.  

Carver fire 1964.

Carver fire 1964
Several structures were also destroyed.

Dense smoke from the Carver fire in 1964.

Carver 1964.


1960's - 1970's


May 1, 1965
 75 degrees - wind Sw @35 mph
1254 Hours - Brush fire is reported near Forestdale Road & Pocasset Road in Otis.
1301 hours - Bourne fire tower reports the fire is moving fast.  Otis had 2 breakers responding.
1303 hrs - Bourne fire tower reports a lot of fire there.
1306 hrs - Bourne fire tower updating looks real bad. State Car 2 requests 7 or 8 breakers
and 4-5 tank trucks. Responding apparatus includes C-15, T-35, B-142, B-143, T-148
C-14, B-250, B-254, B-130, B-128, and B-216.
1312 hrs - Cat 251 (Mashpee Chief) on location requests 8-10 more breakers "Now!"
1312 hrs - P18 reports 40-50 acres burning and spreading fast.
1315 hrs - Fire now are Wood Road spreading very fast.
1315 hrs - Bourne fire tower requested additional trucks. 
C-12, B64, B204, B217
1320 hrs - Request made to Plymouth County for 15 more breakers and
10 tank trucks, plus all equipment from State District 2
1325 hrs - Fire crossed Jefferson Road, headed for Gibbs Road.  Plan to make a stand
on Route 6.  State police closed Route 6.  Request for all available pumpers
and tank trucks to Route 6 and Route 130.  Also requested Plymouth County
pumpers to stage at the Sandwich / Bourne town line.
1330 hrs - Fire crossed Gibbs Road. "Doubt it can be stopped at Route 6"
1345 hrs - Fire is past Gibbs Road and heading for Mid Cape.
1420 hrs - Fire jumps Route 6 with many trucks on the road.
1440 hrs - Orders to send all pumps and tankers to Route 6A Sandwich village.
1530 hrs - Fire is finally stopped at Sandwich village.
2230 hrs - Apparatus is released from mutual aid.
Several thousand acres blackened by the fire.

Fire burns along power lines.

Fire over a hundred feet in the air viewed from Route 6.


Fire begins to jump Route 6, May 1, 1965.  It continues to burn towards Sandwich village.

Route 6 May 1, 1965.

The Otis brush breaker B-14 on Route 6 as fire jumps the highway.

Otis brush breaker 14



Page 1
The Story of Brush Breakers
 Apparatus Index Page



Cape Cod Brush Breakers
Special Feature