Approximately 200 acres of land in the South Liberty Community of Hopkins County burned late Sunday afternoon, and
spread into a wooded area, threatening homes, livestock and hay supplies in the drought stricken countryside.
Sunday Afternoon Wildfires
in South Liberty Community
by: Bobby McDonald
Farmers, ranchers, and homeowners in the South Liberty Community, along with local fire departments, fought a wildfire that burned out of control, off Fm-1567, on Sunday afternoon. Apparently started by someone burning trash, during a "burn ban," the fire quickly spread from Fm-1567 southward along a creek and into a wooded area, igniting dry grass, fallen leaves, and drought-stricken trees, that were quickly aflame.
With the high winds that were present in Hopkins County on Sunday afternoon, firemen and residents attempted to protect homes, barns, and precious hay supplies, that were threatened by the flames. A "fire-lane" was established in an attempt to keep the fire from spreading further. However, firemen were called to the scene again, at approximately 7:30 p.m., to "put out" some of the "hot spots" that were igniting again, from the winds that were again becoming severe.
Rain clouds built in the east, on Sunday afternoon, as rancher prayed for them to come and "put out"
the fire that was threatening their pastures, barns, hay, and homes, in a drought-stricken Hopkins County,
but the rain never materialized.
"We've got to keep a watch on it!" exclaimed on local rancher, who said he had over 300 round rolls of hay, just across the pasture. "This wind can 'kick-up' and blow a spark into the dry leaves, dry grass, or some of these trees that are highly combustible, and you have another raging fire, again!"
Landowners, as well as local fire departments were on alert, as they cautiously watched to make certain that their property wasn't being overtaken by a newly started fire. "I'm sure we'll 'sit-up' all night, just to make certain that nothing gets out of control," advised one local rancher. "We've just got too much at stake, not to keep a watch on our barns, hay, and houses!"
Blackened pastureland, with "hot spots" continued to threaten the South Liberty Community, in South Central Hopkins County
as dark approached and dry conditions plagued the area.
"When you add drought-stricken conditions, like we have now, these high winds, and just a small spark, you've got a raging wildfire, in seconds!" continued the rancher. "It can burn up everything you own, in the matter of minutes, before the firefighters can get here! It's been a long, long time, since this country has been this dry and in this kind of danger!"
At 9:00 p.m., firemen from Arbala, Miller Grove, and other volunteer departments were "dousing" water on areas that were still burning, and being fanned by the high winds, in an effort to keep the flames under control!
The burned area continued to pose a threat to re-igniting, from burning trees and timberland.
The wooded area of the fire, and the presence of high winds, doubled the threat of ignition, as
darkness fell, and anxious landowners stood vigel.
Local fire departments were on the scene at 9:00 p.m., trying to prevent the "hot spots" from re-igniting additional
land and property, in the South Liberty Community.