Leftover hot spots may have started Monday's fire in Finley

Firefighters believe some leftover hot spots from a fire last week may have started yesterday's large brush fire in Finley.

Crews say it looks like some hot spots in the area were not 100% out after a couple fires broke out in the area last Tuesday, and when the winds picked up yesterday, they helped fan the smoldering areas to start a new fire.

Yesterday's flames covered 300 - 400 acres near Meals Road and Toothaker Road.

The plume of smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away.

Also last night, a 100 acre fire broke out on Jump Off Joe.

Firefighters believe a lightning strike started that fire.

Crews say even though the fire season is upon us, it is rare to have this many large fires so early in the year.

"The conditions are just really weird for this time of year. We're usually like this in the middle of July, end of July. And here it is in barely the middle of June, and we've already had four major natural cover fires. So, if this is any indication of what our summer is going to be like, you're gonna have some tired firefighters this year" said Devin Helland, Benton Co. Fire District #1.

Although firefighters believe some leftover hot spots started yesterday's fire in Finley, crews are still investigating the cause.

In total, about 100 - 120 firefighters responded to both fires yesterday in Finley and at Jump Off Joe.

Firefighters believe sparks from a train started the fires last week in Finley.