Looking Back: Aug. 3, 1967
Arsonist believed responsible for fire at Willow Springs
Over 4,000 acres of range land and wheat stubble was burned along the Willow Springs road last Friday and Saturday. According to fire department officials, the massive blaze was believed to have been set by an arsonist. First alarm was given to the Quincy Volunteer Department at approximately 1:30 p.m. Friday and it was late Saturday afternoon before it could be completely controlled.
Upon arriving at the scene of the blaze firemen spotted six separate fires strung from the top of the hill to Oscar Schuh’s ranch north of Willow Springs. Firemen concentrated their efforts on blazes close to wheat fields in the area to prevent loss. While controlling these, other blazes began to spring up along the county road as far away as the railroad tunnel. At one time over 12 fires were counted burning at one time.
With so many fires burning all at once, help was summoned from George, Ephrata and Douglas County departments in order to contain the holocaust. In addition farmers throughout the area arrived with tractors and bulldozers to help prevent total disaster in the area.
At one time in order to attempt to slow down the rapidly moving blaze, local spray planes were pressed into service, dropping over 14 loads of water. This action was credited with containing the blaze to cheat grass lands rather than the adjacent wheat fields.