Fires prevalent over the weekend

Above is area where alleged partiers started a fire.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Heflin firefighters Saturday saved the woods around Dubberly on State Hwy. 531 across the highway from Mt. Nebo Baptist Church.

Heflin Fire Chief Stewart Beatty said the fire was likely set by a “party in the woods.”

“We got the call at 11:55 a.m.,” said the chief. “It didn’t take much time at all to knock it down.”

There were two abandoned trailers near the area where the fire likely started. The church is across the highway. None were in danger.

“Somebody partied in that spot last night (Friday) and started that fire,” Beatty said. “I don’t know how somebody saw it in time to call us. It could’ve just took off, but I guess the wind direction played a part in it. We don’t have much wind today. Thank goodness for that.”

Beatty said this was the second fire in the past few days.

“The other was over near Central,” he said. “It was bad, but it was up the road from the school. It burned three mobile homes and two travel trailers, but they were all uninhabited.”

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker Sunday said there was another fire in Doyline near Carter Road and Harold Montgomery Road, where around two acres burned.

“Louisiana Forestry Service managed to put a perimeter around that one to hold it,” Parker said.

Due to an increase in fire danger across Louisiana, the previous state issued burn ban order was rescinded and reissued with an update to remove the ability for exceptions to be granted by local authorities. 

This new burn ban order by State Fire Marshal Dan Wallis, in collaboration with Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, in effect as of noon August 25, prohibits ALL private burning, with no limitations, pursuant to authority under R.S. 40:1602. This order shall remain in effect until rescinded. 

This updated burn ban order coincides with a separate burn ban order issued by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry prohibiting all agricultural burning including but not limited to prescribed burning. 

The already extremely dry conditions statewide, and the concern over first responder safety in these dangerously high temperatures, have worsened as wildfires spread across Louisiana and significant rain relief remains elusive in weather forecasts. 

Violation of this burn ban order could result in civil and/or criminal penalties. 

Heflin firefighters keep fire from spreading into Dubberly woods Saturday.