BLACKWELL, Ark. – Lightning struck a tree in Blackwell off of I-40 last Sunday, causing a fire that has burned for almost a week.
Landowner, Robert Stobaugh said, “we’ve had very sparce rain since June 10th here and I know we’ve got about 8 tenths the night that this fire was ignited but you see that didn’t slow this thing down at all”.
The flames can be seen by those driving down the road, and even from the top of Petit Jean Mountain.
“We are under a burn ban and we are right on I-40, we got plenty of calls,” said Stobaugh.
Within the first couple of days of the fire, 40 of the 200 acres were burned.
“See the sticks (tree trunks), and just how many there are. Well there were probably 5 or 6 maybe 10 times as many sticks before this fire,” stated Stobaugh.
The fire rekindled Friday Night even after efforts to put it out.
“The area burned is around 75-85, something like that,” said Stobaugh.
Stobaugh said they have had some tough fires before, but nothing like this.
“This is by far the largest acreage fire that I’ve seen here and I’ve been involved here since 1985,” said Stobaugh.
The Forestry Department and four other fire departments have worked to put out the flames.
“Last night, just a tremendous amount of burning going on but it was all contained and all inside those parameters and we were able to keep it where it couldn’t hurt anything else,” said Stobaugh.
Although it has been tough, Robert Stobaugh said they will get through it, like they always do.
“As it turns out, a lot of this being cleared out right now by fires is probably going to be a blessing at some point in the future. It’s not going to be anytime soon,” said Stobaugh.