Rural Kellyville grassfire was intentionally set

Thursday, December 1st 2005, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

Kellyville firefighters say a new grassfire they've been battling for days was intentionally set.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the fire burned in hilly Creek County terrain that proved to be a challenge for firefighters.

The volunteers from Kellyville spent the afternoon and most of the night Tuesday fighting the blaze. They were already exhausted when the wind picked up Wednesday.

Kellyville Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Kelly: "We did some backfires and we thought we had but today when the wind changed up and came out of the north it started all over."

With the high winds pushing the fire through this valley, the Kellyville Fire Department called in some powerful help. An Army National Guard helicopter used nearby ponds to fill a 500 gallon bucket. The helicopter ferried water to the fire all afternoon. The air drops kept the fire contained - and gave residents confidence their homes were safe.

Homeowner Bobbie Phillips: "I love it, it's great, it's saving me a lot of towel beating and working with a rake."

The helicopter worked until dark, and the firefighters kept going, working to extinguish the fire that burned more than a square mile of land, but no homes.

For the most part, the fires died down at sunset, but some are still burning.