A human caused small fire behind Wild Woods Gifts in Heber April 12 was put out by Heber firefighters before it could spread into adjacent trees and fields. It was reportedly caused by a 71-year-old man dumping hot ashes on dry pine needles.

HEBER — A preventable fire behind Wild Woods Gifts on April 12 was reportedly caused after a 71-year-old man dumped hot ashes onto dry pine needles on a red flag warning.

A press release from Navajo County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Tori Gorman stated that NCSO deputies were called to the area behind Wild Woods where they found a wildfire that was spreading into the nearby pines and into fields.

“The fire reached the yard of a residence nearby, but they (firefighters) were able to contain the fire before it damaged any of the property,” Gorman stated in her press release.

When deputies arrived on the scene just before 2 p.m., the Heber Fire Department was already fighting the fire.

Once the fire was brought under some control investigators were reportedly able to determine that it was allegedly 71-year-old Daniel Elkins who was responsible for starting the fire that could have been much worse given the overly dry conditions of the forrest and the high winds April 12.

Deputies cited Elkins for reckless burning.

As have other fire officials said recently, so did NCSO Sheriff David Clouse who stated in the press release that people need to be aware that fire season started very early this year and that they need to obey all red flag warnings and fire restrictions.

“Fire season is upon us and we all need to pay special attention to the red flag warnings. Things are extremely dry out there and carless acts such as this can endanger others property and lives. Please pay attention, follow red flag warnings and please be fire wise,” Gorman quoted Clouse.

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