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Winslow Brush Blaze Brings Four Departments

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January 29, 2011 by wcobserver

Staff Report

WINSLOW- A fire last Friday on Carter Lane in Winslow burned 36 acres and threatened two houses before firefighters from three fire departments and the Arkansas Forestry Commission extinguished it.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation according to Dennis Spear, County Ranger, for the Arkansas Forestry Commission.  Spear said the fire started on property owned by Bob Westphal.

“It burned on two other owners’ [land] beside him,” said Spear who explained they used a GPS to determine how many acres had burned in the fire.

“Boston Mountain, Sunset and Mountainburg fire departments were out there.  They couldn’t access a lot of it and called the Forestry Commission,” said Spear.

Spear said the Forestry Commission brought two bulldozers and six personnel to the scene to assist.

“It was a ground cover fire; it didn’t get into the canopy,” Spear said.

Boston Mountain Fire Chief J.R. Wood said they responded to a 911 call on Friday, Jan. 7 about 12:30 p.m. and soon thereafter called for assistance.

“We had quite a large fire.  It was horribly windy Friday.  There was lots of smoke and it was hard to find exactly where the fire was at,” said Fire Chief J.R. Wood who described the fire as fast-spreading.

James Evans of 22583 Carter Lane said the fire burned right up to his house, but that he’d just raked his yard and thinks that helped save his house.

“I left at 8 a.m. and everything was cool.”  I drove back, shoot, after 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  I didn’t think I had a house there was so much smoke.  I was lucky, I guess,” said Evans.

Chief Wood confirmed that the fire threatened four structures, including two houses.  Wood said that about 20 firefighters controlled the fire with blowers and rakes.  Spear said the fire was under control about 6 p.m.

Wood said that people should be “extremely cautious” about burning in high winds and dry conditions.

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