Brush fires keep departments busy

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lawrence County’s volunteer firefighters are likely an exhausted group these days.

In addition to numerous brush fires over the weekend, more than nine brush fires and a house fire were reported Monday to the Lawrence County 911 Dispatch Center. At least two brush fires were reported this morning before 6 a.m. While some are likely accidental, others are believed to have been deliberately set.

According to information from the 911 center, a brush fire was reported on Township Road 235 in Rome Township at 2:30 p.m. Monday.

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Windsor Firefighters were called at 2:50 p.m. to a fire on State Route 217 and then less than an hour later to a fire on Township Road 214.

Chesapeake/Union Firefighters were called to fight a blaze at the 16 milemarker of State Route 243 just before 4 p.m. Rome and Proctorville departments were dispatched to a fire on County Road 72 just before 4:30 p.m. Monday.

While fighting brush fires, Chesapeake/Union Firefighters were also notified of a structure fire on Township Road 1389 just after 5 p.m.

The Windsor Township Volunteer Fire Department got mutual aid from Burlington-Fayette with a brush fire on Private Drive 1284 that was called in at 5:12 p.m.

Proctorville was called to Private Drive 3671 just after 5:30 p.m. Aid Township was called to battle brush fires of County Road 2 at the 12 mile marker at 5:42 p.m. then just before 6 p.m., Aid and Windsor departments were called to County Road 13 E in Mason Township for three fires in that area.

Aid Fire Chief Joe Justice said his department has been summoned five times — for four brush fires and one house fire — since Friday afternoon.

“Some of it is careless, but some of it is arson,” Justice said. “In the three fires last night, we have a suspect.” He estimated those fires burned 18-20 acres. Information on those fires, he said, has been turned over to law enforcement.

As for the carelessness, Justice said this time of year, given recent lack of rain, those who want to burn yard waste should think twice before striking that match.

“People really need to pay attention,” Justice said. “I know the law says they can burn between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and it’s perfectly legal but you’ve got to use your head.

“The weather is just not cooperating. The ground is extremely dry and it doesn’t take much to get it (a fire) going.”

Windsor Township has already been called out twice this morning for brush fires on County Road 13 E in Mason Township and County Road 2 at the 10.5 mile marker.