Fire Crews Continue To Battle Forest Fires

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

More fires were reported Wednesday as the busy forest fire season continues after just three days. Officials say they can't get a break because of arsonists.

Crews have battled one fire for a week. It started in Floyd County but has spread to Pike County. Foresters say every time they contain it, an arsonist sets it again. Crews contained this fire three times and are back again.

"They're worn out and exhausted," said Forestry Division Manager Dexter Conley.

The fire first started last Wednesday in Riley's Branch.

"It's been pretty rough," Conley said.

They say it's even worse because someone keeps undoing their work. They say every time the fire is controlled and they leave, someone starts it again.

"That's really unnecessary. I don't know why the people want to burn it, but they are," Conley said. "All the work we did on that one is actually wasted because we have to go back and do the same thing over again".

"They set it beyond our control lines so we have to go in and find a place to cut it off," said Forest Ranger Ronnie Stiltner.

Firefighters say it gets harder and harder to cut off because of the drought conditions. Rangers say now the fire is at least 250 acres spread across Pike and Floyd Counties.

"We're doing the best we can at controlling these fires," Conley said.

Foresters believe the arson fires were set in the Wheelwright and Branham's Creek areas. They're searching for the culprits and hoping they're not back at this fire a fifth time.

Foresters say they've asked state police to help them search for whoever is setting these fires. They say if and when they catch them, they will go to jail.

You can report arson by calling 1-800-27-ARSON.

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