1,200 acres burned in Russell Co. fire which started in Ellis Co.

Hays Post – March 9, 2017

Photo by Mike Schoech

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The wild fire that started in northeast Ellis County Tuesday mid-afternoon and was finally 100 percent contained late Wednesday afternoon, also did damage in western Russell County, near Fairport.

According to Russell/Ellsworth County Emergency Manager Keith Haberer, the fire started about 3 p.m. Tuesday near Codell Road in Ellis County between Catharine and the Saline River, just five miles from the Russell County line. High gusty winds pushed the fire east through rough terrain. Haberer says the fire was one mile into Russell County after 7 p.m. as the wind began to subside.

Residents in Fairport, near the Saline River in far western Russell County, were advised to evacuate their homes.

Firefighters from Ellis County, Russell and Osborne County responded to the blaze.

No inhabited structures in Russell or Ellis counties were burned and there were no report of injuries. Haberer estimated about 1,200 acres of grassland was burned in Russell County. No estimate report was immediately available from Ellis County.

The fire was accidental according to Ellis Co. Director of Fire and Emergency Management Darin Myers. “This appears to be an accidental fire. A disconnect failed on a lightning arrester at an oil lease site. The disconnect shorted out, started to spark and started nearby grass on fire,” Myers said.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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