Grass Fires Plague County Departments

By Olivia Haselwood
Andover Leader – February 23, 2017

More burning advisories were issued Wednesday with more expected for Thursday. Dry conditions, despite some weekend rain coupled with winds are giving some fire fighters plenty to do lately.

Last summer’s wet weather caused an overabundance of prairie grass, which is now dry and vulnerable to fires. Andover, Augusta and El Dorado fire departments spent the weekend responding to several grass fires across the county.

Andover fire chief Chad Russell said the fires his department responded to were minor and put out within a few minutes.

El Dorado fire chief Steve Moody said he had one this weekend that took nine departments to bring under control. Departments included Benton, Towanda, Augusta, Potwin, Burns, Cassidy, Rosalia and Leon in additon to his crews from El Dorado.

The fire was reported around 11:30 a.m. along the turnpike near El Dorado. There were no injuries to people or animals, or damages to trucks. After two hours of fighting the fire, around 200 acres had burned along with 50 round bales and some trees.

“This spring there was rain and that resulted in heavy grass growth,” Moody said. “Now we are going through a drought. So, heavy grass with heavy density and winds – makes for volatile fires. Citizens need to be extra careful with any fires. There also needs to be extra caution with any controlled burns.”

Augusta firefighters responded to at least two pasture fires that got out of control on Saturday. They were both quickly extinguished.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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