Fiery weekend

By Foss Farrar
Arkansas City Traveler – April 8, 2014

A stubborn grass fire that started at Camp Horizon and spread to areas that only could be reached by foot kept firefighters busy during the weekend, an Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department official said Monday.

The fire spread across a 75-acre area, burning glass, timber and brush, said ACFD Lt. Paul Hunter.

No one was injured.

The blaze broke out Friday night and again Saturday afternoon, he said. By Saturday, the fire had spread north of Camp Horizon to the Whispering Oaks neighborhood.

The fire first was reported at 8:21 p.m. Friday as a controlled burn, Hunter said.

Firefighters worked for two hours that night and reported the fire contained, but not out.

“The fire line they had for their control burn had jumped past a break in the road,” he said. “The reporting party was going to stay in the area overnight to monitor it.”

Firefighters were hampered that night because they couldn’t take a grass fire truck to areas where pockets of the fire were smoldering, he said.

They could see some burning embers, but no smoke was rising from other pockets.

“They were walking in with plastic backpacks containing 4 to 5 gallons of water,” Hunter said. Firefighters used pressurized sprayers, shovels and rakes to fight the fire.

Later, an ACFD fire crew was dispatched to the scene at 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Hunter said. The fire was reported at 12289 296th Road by the property owner.

Southeast winds estimated at between 7 to 15 mph pushed the fire onto the property and threatened several other properties that were in the fire’s path, Hunter said.

A combination of fire trucks and lines of firefighters walking on foot fought the fire Saturday, he said.

The fire department dispatched two grass trucks, two tankers and a 6-by-6 forestry unit. “We were able to keep any structure from being involved,” Hunter said.

Two vehicles from Winfield were dispatched to assist, but later instructed to disregard.

Another grass fire Saturday burned 160 acres of land northeast of Winfield.

All but 10 acres of that land was on property where a controlled burn was taking place, an engineer with the Winfield Fire Department said.

“They burned in the evening and it rekindled later that night,” said engineer Josh Dobbs.

Frefighters were dispatched at 11:53 p.m., had the fire under control by 12:32 a.m. Sunday and left the scene at 1:07 a.m.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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