• Last modified 35 days ago (April 25, 2024)


8 towns battle series of grass fires

Staff writer

Firefighters from a wide area spent most of Monday afternoon battling three fires in the western portion of the county.

Hillsboro, Goessel, Lincolnville, Durham, Florence, Herington, and Ramona fire departments, which comprise the Marion County task force, as well as Canton all were sent to grass fires near the McPherson County line.

Others that helped Monday were Ag Service, the sheriff’s office, and county emergency medical services.

Ag Service brought a semi-tanker with water.

“That is a very valuable service,” Goessel fire chief Matt Voth said.

Mark Slater, former Florence fire chief, works as a truck driver for Ag Service and operated the semi.

A fire at 160th and Falcon Rds. was reported to be moving toward structures at 2 p.m. Hillsboro and Lehigh firefighters brought it under control within an hour.

As they still were battling that fire, Hillsboro, Goessel, and Peabody firefighters were sent to a shed and grass fire near 180th and Meridian Rds. That fire spread north. When firefighters arrived, they called for help from Canton, Durham, Florence, Herington, Lincolnville, and Ramona fire departments. An ambulance en route back from Newton was sent to the scene as well.

Voth said that fire started when wind blew electrical lines loose from a wooden barn.

“It was fully engulfed when we got there,” Voth said.

The barn, roughly 20 by 30 feet, had hay in it.

“The owner came with his loader tractor and helped with the hay,” Voth said.

The fire already had spread north a half mile, and right after firefighters arrived, it jumped 190th and went another quarter mile.

“Extreme blowing dust created a lot of issues,” Voth said.

Firefighters spent 3½ hours battling that fire.

At 3:30 p.m., another fire was reported at 170th and Chisholm Trail Rds. Portions of the crew fighting the fire at 180th and Meridian Rds. went to that fire and had it extinguished within 30 minutes.

That fire was touched off when landowner Kurt Harrel was burning brush in what was supposed to be a controlled fire that he had not called in to dispatchers.

“I sent Hillsboro and Florence over there to work with that,” Voth said.

Lincolnville, Goessel, Hillsboro, and Herington fire chiefs were the leaders in battling the fire at 180th and Meridian Rds., Voth said.

Last modified April 25, 2024