• Last modified 1232 days ago (March 10, 2021)


Fire weather makes for busy firefighters

Staff writer

Strong winds and dry conditions have meant repeated red flag fire conditions in the county over this past week.

It’s also meant county firefighters have battled 15 fires in a week’s time. Most of the fires were grass fires. Two were house fires, and one was a car on fire.

Lincolnville fire chief Les Kaiser said one of the grass fires in his district was of undetermined cause.

“It was a fairly fast moving fire that we were able to get a handle on with the help of our mutual aid partners,” Kaiser said. “One of the fires we responded to was caused by the rekindle of a brush pile that was burned over a week prior to the incident.”

Hillsboro fire chief Ben Stekette said his department also has been busy.

Hillsboro and Marion firefighters were called Thursday to a hay bale fire Thursday Kanza and 140th Rds.

Stekette had to release Marion firefighters as soon as they arrived at the scene because they were needed at another grass fire near 230th Rd. and US-77.

On March 2, Burns firefighters were called to a grass fire in Butler County.

On March 3, Lost Springs firefighters and Marion rescue squad were called for a burning vehicle near 350th Rd. and US-77.

Hillsboro firefighters were called to a grass fire at the city water treatment plant and one at 190th Rd. and K-15.

Peabody and Goessel firefighters were called to a grass fire near 110th and Indigo Rds.

On Friday, Hillsboro, Durham, and Marion firefighters were called to a house fire in the 300 block of S. Birch St., Hillsboro.

On Saturday, Goessel firefighters were called to a grass fire near 150th and Chisholm Trail Rds. and then to another grass fire near 80th and Meridian Rds.

On Sunday, Marion, Hillsboro, and Tampa firefighters were called to a grass fire near US-56 and Pawnee Rd. shortly before noon, and two hours later Hillsboro, Goessel, and Durham firefighters were called to a grass fire near 210th and Eagle Rds.

On Monday, Peabody, Florence, and Burns firefighters were called to a burning house in Peabody.

“My thoughts are that everyone needs to be cautious when burning,” Kaiser said. “Look ahead, plan ahead.”

County commissioners have not declared a burn ban for the county.

People who set controlled burns are required to notify dispatchers before they burn, but fire chiefs can only prohibit a controlled burn in their district if the fire department is already stretched too thin to spare a crew to fight it.

Kaiser recommends considering the potential effects before burning. He also recommends planning in advance so to have the resources to fight the fire if it gets out of control.

“Ask yourself, if I burn this today, what could happen if the wind picks up in the next 72 to 96 hours, how will that affect what is left of the pile? Will it spread embers to a hedge row or in the pasture and cause a fire that could threaten structures, oil tank batteries, oil wells, or cattle? Could it spread embers to a neighbor’s field and cause them damage or loss?”

If a controlled burn does get out of control, Kaiser said, don’t hesitate to call 911 to get help.

Last modified March 10, 2021