Firefighters battle five blazes

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

LAWRENCE COUNTY - Local fire fighters and crews from state and federal agencies have contained five wild fires that broke out over the past several days in areas around Lawrence and Scioto counties.

The largest of the four fires was still burning in small areas along the Lawrence-Scioto county line north of township roads 278 and 279, in an area northwest of Hanging Rock.

That fire has encompassed approximately 100 acres.

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&#8220All five fires have been contained. The larger one had a spot-over (Friday),” said Becky Banker, a fire information officer for the U.S. Forest Service. &#8220We were able to get in quickly and get it taken care of.”

A fourth and fifth fire were reported late Thursday and Friday but were relatively small and quickly contained, Banker said.

The other two fires, one along County Road 182 near Kits Hill and another near Township Road 154 west of Waterloo were also relatively small and have been contained.

Local support has come from various township volunteer fire departments, as well as two ambulance crews and paramedics from Portsmouth.

The cause of the fires remains unclear and is under investigation by local authorities and Forest Service fire management officers.

No one has been injured and no homes have had to be evacuated, Banker said.

The Ironton Ranger District of the Wayne covers about 100,000 acres in Lawrence, Gallia and Scioto counties, and was the scene of a 300-acre Binion Hollow fire in April.

State law prohibits burning from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Burning in the evening and at night is safer because of lower temperatures and humidity.

Private owners can be cited by the state for fires burned during these times, and can be charged for fire suppression costs.

&#8220Things are very dry,” Banker said. &#8220The public must watch the weather and be careful when burning.”

Residents can learn more by visiting the Web site

Report any wild fires in your area to the local fire departments, or by calling 911 in your area.