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Firefighters stay busy with 2 blazes

Two brush fires in Crawford County kept firefighters busy Saturday afternoon, with the second involving eight departments and visible from miles away, as dry conditions persist across Southern Indiana.
The first fire, started by a combine, was in eastern Crawford County on ‘Snake Hill,’ near the Harrison County line and the old Rothrock’s Mill site. Three departments responded to the fire, which was quickly contained.
The second fire was called in minutes later at the Heather Luther residence off Baylor Road in the northern end of the county. Firefighters from Marengo and Milltown found a large field burning, as well as a large gorge, where several trees had fallen during the 2004 tornado. Rough terrain and extremely thick brush made it difficult for firefighters to reach the front of the blaze.
Smoke from the fire could be seen from as far away as Corydon.
In all, eight departments with 28 trucks and approximately 60 firefighters responded. The departments that responded were Milltown-Whiskey Township, Marengo-Liberty, English, Leavenworth, Ramsey, Harrison Township, Palmyra and Posey Township of Washington County. Also responding were Crawford County Emergency Medical Services, Crawford County Emergency Management Agency, Milltown Police Dept. and Indiana State Police. A bulldozer from Huddleston Construction was also used to create a fireline.
Officials said the fire, which took more than five hours to bring under control, was started accidentally, apparently from sparks from a barrel of a gun two boys were shooting.
Joey Gallion of the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources estimated about 10 acres burned.
Dry conditions have created a severe drought situation in the area. The National Weather Service said the region’s yearly rainfall total is more than eight inches below normal. Officials in Crawford and Harrison counties have enacted a burn ban until conditions improve.