March 27, 2003
Downing Fire Department Called To Several Fires
Downing Fire Department has had a busy month so far. The firemen have had nine fire calls in seven days. On March 16th there was one vehicle and one grass fire. On March 17th, the department responded to two grass fires. March 18th saw a hay trailer on fire south of Downing on Route A, where the owner lost eight bales of hay.
March 22nd started with mutual aid for Lancaster Fire Department for a grass fire on Route U. In the meantime the Downing firemen were dispatched with two fire calls back to back on Route V west of Downing and Route N north of Downing consisting of two grass fires that landowners lost control of. The Route N fire resulted in the loss of a landowner's hay bales.
On March 23rd they responded to a grass fire seven miles northeast of Downing in Scotland County, where the landowner lost control of a brush pile fire. "Before it was over we had to request help from Lancaster and Memphis Fire Departments," stated Okla L. Arnold, Jr., Fire Chief of Downing Fire Department. "We had 30 firefighters and seven units on scene for about five hours." Over 200 acres of grass and CRP were lost. "We had lots of good help from people bringing us drinking water and assisting in locating spot fires," Arnold said.