Crews work into the night to gain control of southern IN wildfire

Chief Jamey Noel
Chief Jamey Noel
Danny Mayfield
Danny Mayfield

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

FLOYD COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - Several Southern Indiana fire departments spent the day Saturday battling a wildfire near the Horseshoe Casino.

The wildfire sparked around 12:30p.m. New Chapel Fire Department Chief Jamey Noel said they received a report leaves were on fire in the woods near Gap Hollow Road by Highway 111.

Danny Mayfield who lives in the area said he called 911 when he saw smoke rising from the hills. "My fiancee and I came from the grocery store and we seen a lot of smoke coming from the hills," Mayfield said.

Chief Noel said it was difficult for firefighters to get to the fire in their trucks. "{There are} pretty steep hills. I'm talking 2 miles in some spots to a mile and a half off the road, which is only accessible by foot or ATV," he said.

Not only did the location of the fire work against crews, the wind made things worse. "Every time we thought we were close to getting it under control, the wind would pick up and the fire would take off," Chief Noel said.

The chief said the fire jumped 10 foot fire breaks. Danny Mayfield said he tried to help firefighters.

"We were trying to help the fire fighters rake leaves back and cut the fire off, but with the way it was, the wind was blowing and on the steep hills. They would spray in one spot and go to the next and where they just spray it'd catch back on fire," Mayfield said.

Around 7 in the evening, firefighters only had 20 percent of the fire contained. By 10:30, they had 70 percent of it contained. Chief Noel said the fire stretches for 3 miles from Gap Hollow Road to Budd Road.

Chief Noel said there were voluntary evacuations, but once it rained it helped. The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.

Copyright 2010 WAVE News. All rights reserved.