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NFD suspects arson in recent grassfires

By Everett Brazil

The Newkirk Herald Journal

NEWKIRK — A series pf grassfires has been occurring north of Newkirk, near the stateline during the past few weeks, and the Newkirk Fire Department believes to be suspicious in nature and may be caused by arson.

There has been about 12 to 15 fires in the area, including along Traders Bend Road, Prentiss Road, Earth Road and Judo Road, up to the stateline, according to Newkirk Fire Chief Adam Longcrier. Those fires have so far burned about 300 to 400 acres, he said.

The NFD has called in mutual aid assistance from area fire departments, including Kildare, Blackwell, Dale Township, River Road and Beaver Creek fire departments.

Although no injuries or structure loses have been recorded, they have gotten close a dew times.

“Two weeks ago, there was a fire that was approaching a residence east of Newkirk, but we were able to get it stopped,” he said.

Those fires have also cause other havoc, including cattle getting out of pastures, which is a threat to not only the livestock, but also drivers, especially at night, such as a fire they fought March 25.

“We had to cut the fence, which caused to cattle to leave the pasture, and that puts a dangerous risk to people on the backroads,” Longcrier said.

NFD representatives believe the fires may be intentionally set, and are seeking information on who that suspect may be.

“It seems like the fires are starting up north, and we believe the fires are being set,” Longcrier said. “If you see anyone suspicious in the area, call the NFD.”

The NFD may be contacted at (580) 362-3131


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