by Karen Sherrell
Firefighters stayed busy last week when an arsonist set several fires in Horseshoe Bend.
On Wednesday, January 31, Izard County dispatch began receiving calls from the Horseshoe Bend area, concerning several fires throughout the city. The Horseshoe Bend Fire Department responded with personnel, brush trucks and fire engines, and mutual aid was provided by Zion, Franklin, Morriston, Agnos-Glencoe-Heart Fire Departments, and the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
The intentionally set fires were located in the areas of Kennedy and Executive Drives to the quarry on Hwy. 56, Pine Ridge Road at Moonstone, South Shore Drive at Tri Lakes Drive, Primrose and Memory Lanes, Springfield Avenue at Moonstone, several on North and South Little Rock Roads, Shady Lane at Pony Lane, and Clark Lane at Enterprise Lane.
Strong winds and gusts enabled the fires to move quickly, and firefighters were dispatched throughout the entire city for several hours. Smaller crews, sometimes one or two firefighters, remained at each scene to keep the fires from spreading through the underbrush. Firefighters responded through the night.
A home on Pony Lane was in the path of a quickly moving brush fire, and volunteers on the scene beat the flames down before the pumper trucks arrived from another hot spot.
No injuries were reported and no structures were lost in the fire outbreak.
This area is in moderate danger of wildfires spreading according to the Forestry Commission, and that, with the wind gusts, could have resulted in severe damage if not for the response time of firefighters and volunteers.
Additional fires occurred that same day on Military Road in Franklin and Lacrosse Road in Melbourne.
The fires are under investigation, according to Izard County Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley, and the department is actively searching for the suspect(s).

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