Fire damage costly in Seward

Southwest Daily Times – March 8, 2017

Photo by Jimmy Hampton

Wildfires around the state continue to dominate the headlines, with one of those fires starting in Seward County Monday afternoon.

“At 3:06 p.m., a caller reported a fire near the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 83 and Hwy. 51 in Seward County,” a release from Seward County Emergency Management noted. “A deputy sheriff arrived at 3:08 p.m., and fire units arrived shortly thereafter. The fire moved to the east along county Road 13, and then to the southeast as it burned approximately 5,000 acres of crop residue, grass, and wheat as well as structures, vehicles, power poles, center pivot equipment, oil field equipment, fences, etc.”

There were no injuries reported from this fire, but there were four homes reportedly destroyed, three of which were occupied at the time of the incident, the release continued. Deputies evacuated 18 residents and many others evacuated themselves from the path of the fire. There was an evacuation center set up at the Seward County Activity Center for those who needed it, which closed at 10:30 p.m.

“The ignition source of this fire is not known, but the point of origin was near Hwy. 83 on the east side of the Highway,” the release from Emergency Management continued. “Once the fire began burning, low humidity and high winds contributed to its rapid spread. Two semi tractors, one service truck as well as four passenger vehicles, and one county fire truck were destroyed. Thirty one power poles were destroyed and a number of oil/gas well sites were damaged.”

Several area farmers and heavy equipment operators were also able to help build a line around this fire, so it could be extinguished, the release continued. Other local farmers supplied water for the fire department and helped to move livestock. Fire units from Stevens County, Haskell County, and Turpin Oklahoma, responded to provide mutual aid to Seward County Fire Department. Other county employees provided support to the effort by getting news and direction out to the community via social media and other releases with other media.

“Thanks to all who helped, it was great to see everyone working together to keep our residents safe,” the release concluded.


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

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