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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
by Steve Moody
Fighting Fire in a Swamp – Northern Stafford County
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By Steve Moody
April 26, 2013 12:01 a.m.



IMG_0456What vision comes across the minds of Stafford County firefighters when “Quivera National Wildlife Refuge” Fire Chief Bill comes on the radio to report a wild land fire? Here’s a guess – “Hours of work ahead – nothing like fighting a fire in a swamp!”

Bill’s message went out just after lunch today and it was well into supper time before firefighters from Stafford County, Quivera NWF, and Ellinwood left the scene. Twenty-two firefighters brought thirteen fire trucks and three ATVs to the party.

IMG_0451The area of the fire was Northern Stafford County – one mile south of the refuge. This area is home to oil pumps, swampy grass, and gnarly old Cottonwood trees. It was thought that one of those Cottonwoods started today’s fun.



A thunderstorm rolled across Stafford County a couple days ago. Apparently a lightning bolt from that storm must have struck one of the big fellows. Heavy winds today stoked enough sparks to ignite the grass.

IMG_0452Quivera’s track driven tractor stayed just as busy as the fire trucks, pulling them out when they dropped into soft spots. By the time the fire was over every single one of the fire suppression trucks had become stuck at least once, some repeatedly.

Fighting a fire in a swamp is something few firefighters have experienced. Our area firefighters have so much experience, they could train others how to do it. They put on a wonderful performance today.

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