Neighbors said they heard a train pass through the area moments before the fires began. They're thankful for the quick actions of multiple fire departments.
“The wind is blowing. If it is dry for a day or so, all it takes is a spark,” said Assistant Fire Chief Marlin Thompson with the Walker County Emergency Services.
Firefighters spent much of the afternoon battling a number of brush fires fueled by the wind. Neighbors could see fires in the distance, creeping closer and closer to their homes. “It started going side to side. Down towards the Memorial Church on Hogan, then towards 2A,” said Jackie Arnold.
Emergency crews secured the threatened areas. Ready to tackle the flames if it made its way to neighborhoods. “Five went up on the hill and about two or three strayed at the foot of the hill.”
Fire lines were created on the slope below area homes in an effort to keep the flames from making their way further up the bluff. “All the fire people are here. So they are going to tell me if I need to go anywhere.”
One family was evacuated because they were directly in the fire line. “Those people were evacuated. Large garage adjacent to the house with several cars,” said Assistant Chief Thompson.
They were eventually able to return back home. Area homeowners were encouraged by firefighters to watch for flames and call 911 if they feel threatened. “It’s good, as long as these firemen stay here while I go to sleep tonight,” said Arnold.
A helicopter dumped hundreds of gallons of water from the nearby quarry on hot spots. Emergency crews remained on scene for hours before giving the all clear.