Coffey County assists with 4,000 acre range fire

By Becky Reeves
Coffey County Republican – March 25, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 4, 2014

Coffey County firefighters were called at 2:14 p.m. Thursday to assist with a grass fire in Lyon and Osage counties, which burned about 4,000 acres in the two counties.

The fire began in the area of Road 200 and Y Road in Lyon County, which is one mile west and one mile north of 28th and Angus roads, northwest of Coffey County. The fire did not reach Coffey County.

“The fire began when it rekindled in a couple of places from a controlled burn the day before,” Lyon County Undersheriff John Koelsch said.

According to Coffey County Fire Chief Randall Brown, firefighters from Lebo and Jacobs Creek battled the fire nearly seven hours. Eleven firefighters responded with four brush rigs and one tanker. “They wanted another brush rig, but I needed to leave some equipment in case we needed it in our county,” Chief Brown said. “They also needed a medical unit, which we provided.”

Chief Brown’s foresight paid off. While firefighters were assisting in the adjacent counties, other Coffey County firefighters were called at 2:41 p.m. to a grass fire at the intersection of 20th Road and Trefoil Road and to a second grass fire at the intersection of 12th Lane and Native Road.

Earlier on Thursday Coffey County firefighters battled grass and hay bale fires at 12:52 p.m. at the intersection of 11th Road and Reaper Road, and at 11:55 a.m. at the intersection of Ninth Road and Emmer Road, where they were called back at 1:27 p.m. to a grass fire with a possible structure fire.

Other fire departments responded to the Lyon-Osage fire from Manhattan, Junction City, Wamego, Emporia, Miller, Reading, Neosho Rapids, Allen-Admire, Osage County Fire District #2 (Osage City) and Osage County Fire District #5 (Lyndon). Also assisting were the Kansas Highway Patrol aviation unit and the Lyon County Sheriff’s office.

A grass fire truck, owned by the Reading Fire Department, was damaged, and a barn was destroyed. A firefighter associated with the fire truck was injured and treated at the scene for minor burns.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster