WILLCOX — Local fire departments had a great deal to handle in February.
The City of Willcox released a press release last Wednesday, describing each fire event during the month.
The first fire began in an unoccupied mobile home on North Circle I
Road on Feb. 15, at 1:35 a.m. The structure was a complete loss. This fire is currently under investigation by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
The second fire occurred Feb. 18, at 12:35 p.m., in another unoccupied mobile home on Macdula Drive in the Winchester Heights area, roughly 13 miles beyond city limits.
Due to the intensity of the blaze, the brush around the home was set alight. The Willcox Fire Department had to battle the brush fire while the second fire reduced the mobile home to a complete loss. This fire is also under investigation by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
On Feb. 25, the third fire was reported at 2:30 p.m. - once again ignited in an unoccupied mobile home, this one on South Second Avenue.
Once again, fire from the building spread to the surrounding brush, which required additional effort and resources to combat.
According to the press release, this particular fire was determined to be human-caused. It is currently being investigated as arson by the Willcox Police Department.
An hour later, at 3:30 p.m., the Willcox Fire Department responded to Mountain View Road, roughly 14 miles from the city, to a fire at another empty residence. The property contained several small structures as well as vehicles, and had extensive grass and brush around it, making this fire difficult to combat.
Additional assistance was requested from the Cochise County Emergency Operations Center, the Mescal Fire Department, the Tombstone Fire Department, the Cochise County Department of Public Works and the Sunnyside Fire Department.
According to the release, the Willcox Fire Department and the other departments fought the Mountain View Road fire for more than eight hours.
At this time, the fire is under investigation by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
During the Mountain View Road fire, at 6:30 p.m., another fire was reported on Interstate 10. According to the press release, a vehicle was on the shoulder of the highway and completely engulfed in flames.
The Range News spoke to the Willcox Department of Public Safety and found there were no injuries reported. The cause of this fire was determined to be an engine malfunction.
Due to the fact that Willcox Fire was occupied, the Bowie Fire Department was called as well as the water tender from the Mescal Fire Department to extinguish the fire.
Willcox Department of Public Safety Chief Dale Hadfield encouraged all residents in and around the city to maintain a 150-foot fire break by reducing weeds and unnecessary brush.
“Please maintain your properties. A little sweat equity is worth protecting lives,” Hadfield said.
Combining each fire the Willcox Fire Department attended, plus one and a half hours for vehicle cleanup per fire, equaled 20 hours of manpower spent on fire fighting in February.