Webster fighters called to aid others
Several Webster Parish firefighters spent part of their Labor Day laboring against wildfires in Cass County, Texas and Columbia County, Arkansas.
Firemen and trucks from Sarepta, Cullen and Dixie Inn pulled out of Webster Parish headed to Caddo Parish September 5 around 6 p.m. and returned home around 2 a.m., Tuesday.
According to Sarepta Fire Chief Billy Dorsey, five firefighters, one engine and one tanker from his department went to give mutual aid.
Once the men arrived at the command post in Caddo Parish, they were given orders to go to the north portion of Cass County, Dorsey said.
The firemen went there for what Dorsey called, “exposure control.”
“They were mostly there guarding structures. Standing by in case a house caught on fire,” he said.
Four volunteers and three trucks from Cullen and two men and one truck from Dixie Inn’s fire departments were also a part of the mutual aid team sent to Cass County, according to Cullen Fire Captain Thompson C. Arnold.
“It felt great to go over and help out,” said Arnold.
“But, a couple of times while we were there it was like a California wildfire.
“Fire was blowing over the trucks and it was a really dangerous situation,” he continued. “Webster Parish firefighters went to extend mutual aid because there were fires stretching from Caddo Parish to the edge of Arkansas.”
When the local men were released from their duties Tuesday morning the fires were contained but a fire started back up again Wednesday in Vivian, said Arnold.
Seven firefighters from the Springhill Fire Department also spent about 4.5 hours of their holiday assisting firemen in Columbia County Arkansas, according to Fire Chief David Camp.
Springhill’s role in assisting Columbia County during the 100-acre woods fire was to protect the Arkansas Forestry Department’s equipment, said Camp.
“They had an 18-wheeler trailer that they brought their dozer in on and they had it down in the woods on a side road so we went in to protect it,” he said.
Although he didn’t go on Labor Day, Stewart Beatty, Heflin fire chief district 12, recently spent about 6 hours assisting in Natchitoches parish.
Beatty said he took a tanker truck down below Ashland.
“I went last Friday (September 2) around 4 p.m. and got back at 11 p.m. That one burned up a bunch of houses,” he said.
According to Beatty, his department has also recently assisted Bienville parish with a couple of woods fires.