Controlled burn takes off

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mount Pleasant firefighters were able to prevent major damages when they extinguished an unattended fire at 72 Barren Fork Road Dec. 9.

The residents left some burning trash unattended and the fire got out of control, according to Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Donnie Fulbright.

Fulbright said it took his department about three minutes to arrive at the home. The fire took only a few minutes to extinguish, and firefighters were at the scene for approximately an hour cleaning, Fulbright said.

Fulbright said the neighboring field was burned and a neighboring trailer was also damaged.

"I really don't know how much costs will be (on the trailer)," Fulbright said. "The inside definitely had some smoke damage and the underneath was the worst part burned."

Izard County firefighters were busy in Melbourne Dec. 10, as well.

Melbourne Fire Chief Rusty Campbell called in a controlled burn on city property at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Shortly after Campbell reported the controlled burn, the involved firefighters lost control. Zion and Franklin volunteer fire departments were called in for assistance in extinguishing the blaze before it reached the airport and Boeing Plant.

The fire was intended to be contained to three acres of city property but grew into a grass fire that got out of control, according to Campbell.

"The fire covered approximately 20 acres," Campbell said. "But it all stayed on city land, and there was no property damage."

Franklin Fire Chief Dierk Simmons said the fire took about 15 minutes to get under control once they reached the scene. The whole thing was extinguished within 45 minutes, he said.

"I really don't like that phrase, 'controlled burn.'" Simmons said. "A forest fire can be controlled -- but they're not easy to stop."

Campbell said he appreciated the Zion and Franklin department for their assistance.

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