Controlled Burn Conducted at Chesapeake Hills Golf Course
Chesapeake Hills Golf Course was closed on Saturday, May 11, as the Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad & Fire Department (SVRSFD) conducted a controlled burn of the pre-existing clubhouse. The building was scheduled to be razed after sustaining significant structural damage during Winter Storm Grayson in January 2018.
Many safety measures were in place. In the weeks before the controlled burn, the building was cleared of asbestos and other hazardous materials. The day of the burn, the golf course was closed to the public. Fire and rescue vehicles were brought in from several districts. Present were two University of Maryland (UM) Fire School certified safety officers and the Calvert County safety officer. Fire and rescue squad staff included many past chiefs and officers with hundreds of hours of experience. The golf course staff was also on hand.
The building was approximately 15,000 sq. ft. The controlled burn provided training to the volunteer firefighters. The UM Fire School safety officers gave instruction in proper ventilation of burning buildings, teaching techniques that included venting and trench cuts. Trench cuts are done to stop the fire from spreading. Firefighters received credits for this training.
The Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department (SVRSFD) took the lead in the controlled burn. They were assisted by volunteers and trucks from Saint Leonard Volunteer Fire Department (SLVFD), North Beach Volunteer Fire Department (NBVFD), Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department (DVFD) and Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD). Emergency calls in Solomons and Lusby were covered by staff from the Hughesville Volunteer Rescue Squad (HVFDEMS). Solomons VRSFD paid Mission Barbeque for lunch for all the volunteers working at CHGC for the controlled burn.
The controlled burn began at approximately 10 a.m. after the building had been properly ventilated. It was done in phases, beginning on the south side of the building, moving to the north side. While burning, water trucks kept the nearby cart barn and trees “watered down” against the heat and flames. Smoke could be seen from miles away.
The Calvert County Department of Parks and Recreation has begun the process to create a conceptual design for a new clubhouse. Construction will begin after the design is approved. This summer, golfers will see the addition of new restrooms on the course. Golf course maintenance operations will be updated with a new environment-friendly equipment washing area. The washing area will use recycled water. Grass clippings, which contain trace amounts of nitrogen and other nutrients, will be “caught” as they are washed off the mowers, ensuring they can be used to benefit the turf health and not run into local sewers or drain fields where they can be harmful.
Current club operations are done in a double-wide trailer complex that includes a pro shop, snack bar, seating, TV, two ADA-compatible restrooms and offices. Outside of the clubhouse there is a deck with seating. Nearby a tent has been installed to accommodate up to 120 people for golf tournaments and banquets.
Chesapeake Hills Golf Course is located at 11352 HG Trueman Road in Lusby, just minutes from Solomons. Learn more by visiting online: http://www.co.cal.md.us/index.aspx?nid=422.
For updates on Parks & Recreation services, park availability, field closures and more, visit Parks & Recreation at www.Facebook.com/CalvertCountyParks.
To learn more about Calvert County’s all volunteer fire departments and rescue squads visit:
- Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department, www.dunkirk5.com
- Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad, www.hvfd6.org
- North Beach Volunteer Fire Department, www.northbeachfire.com
- Saint Leonard Volunteer Fire Department, www.slvfd.org
- Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department, www.svrsfd.org
- Hughesville Fire & EMS, www.hvfdems.org
Please enjoy the picture gallery below!
Joyce Stinnett Baki / Calvert Beacon