Fire broke out and burned hundreds of round bales near Preston late Wednesday, keeping fire crews out all night. Wind toppled power poles and trees around Pratt County, a result of bomb cyclone winds in the area.
It was a long night for firefighters as they kept vigil over large CRP bale fire south of Preston that started Wednesday evening. Firefighters from Preston, Iuka and Pratt County were called to NE 60th Street and NE 90th Avenue where hundreds of bales and acres of CRP grass were on fire. Strong winds pushed the fire and caused lots of concern about the fire spreading.
Pratt County Emergency Manager Tim Branscom said an estimated 500 bales were burning and he didn't know what had started the fire. Crews quickly got the burning CRP grass extinguished but firefighters were on site all night because of the high wind. A nearby abandoned farmstead was threatened but the fire did not reach the buildings.
Fire did not reach cattle that were located on corn stalks on the north side of the fire that was reported at 6:20 p.m.
At 6:39 p.m. county road crews were called to the south side of Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake to clear a large tree branch that had broken on the tree on the south side of the road and was blocking the entire road.
Wind was a factor in the broken branch and it also played a part in a pair of power poles going down around 7:20 p.m. just east of SE 30th Street and SE 30th Avenue. City crews were on site and it was the only power poles that went done on city controlled circuits said Lane Gourley, Pratt electric distribution superintendent.
There was a little damage from down trees around Pratt.
The wind blew Ninnescah Electric power poles down around Byers, Sawyer and Trousdale. About three to four poles were down at each site, said Ninnescah Electric manager Teresa Miller.
Power was off for a while in these areas, some for several hours, as crews got poles stabilized. A regulator station north of Byers also came down because of the wind and rain. Ninnescah back-fed from the station and had power restored to the customer.
Because of the high wind, pole replacement will be done Friday when the winds have subsided, Miller said.