Police & Fire

Wildfire threatens homes, shuts down state highway

(6:10 AM TUESDAY UPDATE: DeGray firefighters were sent to the location a third time to douse flare ups, some reportedly close to electrical boxes.)

(10:45 PM UPDATE: The DeGray Fire Department was dispatched back to the scene after reports a fire had restarted.)

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

HEARN — Emergency officials are working into Monday evening to contain a large brush fire that broke out in Clark County.

Tate Chanler, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management, told The Arkadelphian that six fire agencies converged on the wooded area near the junction of Shelton and Hearn roads, off of state Highway 8 west of Arkadelphia.

Shelton Road is in the Hearn community west of Arkadelphia. Google Maps

Authorities closed Highway 8 to traffic for about an hour because of poor visibility, according to Chanler.

The DeGray Fire Department was first summoned to the area at 1:10 p.m. Monday, followed by the Arkadelphia, Gum Springs, Hollywood, Amity and Alpine fire departments and the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Chanler said. 

The latter agency dispatched two air tankers and a spotter plane.

The cause of the blaze was still under investigation, Chanler said. Also, the total acreage damaged in the fire is as yet to be determined. “That’s unknown at this time,” Chanler said. “They’re saying 50 plus [acres] right now. Forestry will determine that at a later date, probably tomorrow.”

When agencies were first called to the scene dispatchers notified that there were homes in danger of the spreading fire, but Chanler said the fire was contained before any homes sustained damages.

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