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Wildfire in Ola burns 1,400 acres | News

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Wildfire in Ola burns 1,400 acres

OLA, Ark. (KTHV) -- The fire crews stood their ground and won. Yell County's wildfire is 100-percent contained. But as we go, the damage is widespread.

William Willcutt is a mechanic in Ola. He says, "That was my shop, that's where I worked on things, that was all my tools, that was everything I had to work on anything."

Now, all these possession a total loss. Willcutt says, "I think it's uh 6 vehicles, 2 motorcycles, and 5 four-wheelers, and a lawn mower, and close to $225,000 worth of tools."

All these items are uninsured, just to make ends meet. When he first arrived back home after a mandatory evacuation, it's this sight that greeted him. A sight he would never forget. He says, "Everything was engulfed, when I got back here, everything you see was on fire. The flames were actually touching the house. The shirt on my back was actually starting to crinkle on my back."

The fire wasn't done just yet. Crews spent all day mopping up the brush and debris. One crewmember says, "The fire is still smoldering underneath, we come through a stomp it out."

Fire crews still monitoring the torched landscape. Governor Beebe flew over the damage and showed his thanks to those fighting the fire.

He also assured that anything else needed to put out the fire will be provided. He says, "If other assets are needed, over and above what's been provided if additional help is needed, to make sure that they understand it is available to the extent of the resources of what we've got to be there if we can help them."

There's still a lot of work still to be done. Rain is expected but still wildfire danger to remain high to extreme.

While there is a chance for storms tonight and tomorrow, lightning could be dangerous and serious threat for the firefighting crews.


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