None Hurt as Intense Brush Fires Sweep through Forest Preserve

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Byline: Heather MacDonald Daily Herald Staff Writer

Six large brush fires swept Sunday through the Deer Grove Forest Preserve in rural Palatine, firefighters said.

It took firefighters more than three hours to put out the blazes, which occurred in the Deer Grove West preserve, on Dundee Road just east of Route 14. The first fire began around 1:30 p.m. and the last was not extinguished until 5 p.m.

"The high winds today didn't make matters any better," said Firefighter Steve Delatorre. "It was an exhausting process."

The cause was undetermined as of Sunday night, according to Cook County forest preserve police. Delatorre said there was no obvious evidence at the scene that it had been set intentionally.

Authorities said the fires were not the result of controlled burning.

The fires occurred roughly a half-mile into the forest preserve, preventing fire trucks and other large equipment from reaching them. Delatorre said the fires seemed to pop up one after another, surprising the firefighters with their intensity.

"I've never seen anything like this," Delatorre said. …