OAKWOOD — The wind created problems for several rural fire departments Tuesday as they battled a blaze in a heavily wooded, rural area along the Vermilion River east of Oakwood.
The fire started just after noon near a mobile home in the Fairview Sportsman's Club on U.S. 150 west of the Vermilion County Fairgrounds. The owner of the mobile home, Gene Taylor, was trying to burn leaves in a fire pit on his property when the wind spread the flames outside the pit and then to the nearby woods, according to Josey Jordan, assistant fire chief with the Kickapoo Fire Protection District.
Taylor, who was not injured, said he was trying to put out the fire with buckets of water with no luck and called the fire department. He said he hurried to meet the fire trucks at the entrance of the sportsman's club, which is divided into various lots with permanent and temporary housing structures, including mobile homes and campers.
Jordan said it was hectic at first, just getting to the fire by way of tight, winding gravel roads.
Taylor said that by the time he got back to his property, the blaze had spread to the structures, including his mobile home, which was a total loss. Several other departments — including Bismarck, Oakwood, Bluegrass, Tilton and Lynch — were called for assistance and brought in their brush fighting equipment, Jordan said.
He said the firefighters concentrated initially on the mobile home and contained the blaze to Taylor's property, keeping it from spreading to two nearby lots that also had dwellings. Jordan said a second group concentrated on the fire that was spreading through the woods to the south and the west.
Firefighters also had the brush fire contained by about 4 p.m., Jordan said.