Creek County Volunteer Firefighters Lose Truck While Fighting Grass Fires

Monday, March 8th 2021, 6:16 pm


A Creek County Volunteer Fire Department lost a truck in a brush fire they were fighting Sunday.

The fires they were working rekindled Monday in high winds, burning hundreds of acres. A church was left with minor damage and a travel trailer burned nearby. No one was hurt.

The Freedom Hill Volunteer Fire Department had two firefighters in a brush rig Sunday, when they drove onto soft ground, got stuck, and quickly ran out of water. Several neighbors, including Gary Scott, tried to help.

"They didn't have water, so we used two fire extinguishers and got enough garden hose out there, and we had it put out, we thought," Scott said.

Scott said their water ran short, and the truck continued burning.

Freedom Hill, like many small departments, don't have extra equipment or the capacity to immediately replace what they lost. They only carried liability insurance on the truck that burned.

"Right now, with the truck burning, we're not going to replace that. We're not going to go out and replace that. It's going to take us months. We'll figure it out," said Carolyn Smythe, the dispatcher for the department and wife of the Fire Chief.

At the moment, their attention has turned to new fires that smoldered overnight and started spreading again Monday when the wind picked up. One fire burned hundreds of acres before it reached Liberty Freewill Baptist, which was damaged but saved.

Freedom Hill and many other small departments are looking forward to a vote in April, when Creek County will decide whether to start a partial penny sales tax to support their fire departments.