FRANKLIN COUNTY (KFSM) -- A wildfire in Franklin County that shut down part of Highway 96 and burned several homes was contained Friday morning (Nov. 18) allowing evacuees to return to their homes.
Fire crews are now monitoring hot spots, and the fire departments could conducts some additional small controlled burns.
The fire started in rural Franklin County around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, said Franklin County Emergency Management Coordinator Fred Mullen. The fire spread along Highway 96 between Lavaca and Cecil and into Sebastian County south of Mulberry.
Highway 96, which was shut down starting at Arbuckle Island Road in Sebastian County and into Franklin County, has since been reopened.
Big Creek Fire Chief Tommy Noel said three homes have been burned, including one along Mill Creek Mountain Road that was completely destroyed by the fire. There have been no reports of injuries. Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles away throughout the River Valley.
Noel also said the fire burned 1,001 acres as of about 1:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Red Cross opened a shelter at First Baptist Church in Lavaca Thursday night for those displaced by the fire.
Every fire department in Franklin and Sebastian County, as well as the Forestry Department, responded to battle the flames Thursday.
Crews from Logan and Johnson Counties will be in the area Friday to help monitor the situation.