1,000-Acre Wildfire Marks First Big Fire For Local Firefighters

FRANKLIN COUNTY (KFSM) -- Fire departments from around the area are finally caught up on rest after spending hours this week containing a large fire in Franklin and Sebastian Counties.

The fire was 100 percent contained Friday afternoon (Nov. 18).

"You never know," Lavaca Assistant Fire Chief Kenny Hobbs said. "A fire has its own mind. It has a way with making its own atmosphere."

Multiple fire departments worked for hours to contain the fire that started early Thursday (Nov. 17) afternoon. For some, it was the first time they had faced a fire of this magnitude.

"Some of the younger guys have not been on [a big fire]," Hobbs said. "My son has never been on one that size, so it was quite the undertaking."

Hobbs said the fire was hard to work because of its size.

"In a house fire, it's at least contained to a small area," Hobbs said. "It's always intense, especially when you don't know if there's a family in the home. This time with something like this and such a greater area, there could be multiple homes involved."

But he said the experienced firefighters guided the way.

"Having guys who have fought fire like this before, we had their knowledge to learn from them," Lavaca First Responder Chris White said. "They were giving us good direction to what we needed to be doing as well."

Firefighters said it really shows how close the area is because everyone rushed to the call.

"A fire of this magnitude, most of these guys are all volunteers and they come running," Hobbs said. "They'll leave what they're doing to come help us."

He said he hopes his firefighters took away an important less from the experience.

"You can't do it by yourself," Hobbs said. "You need to be able to tag-team it off. You have to be able to pace yourself on a fire of this magnitude."

Although no one was injured, the wildfire destroyed one home and damaged several others. The Arkansas Forestry estimates the fire burned 1,001 acres.