Grass burns by Turon

Gale Rose
Reno County firefighters stand ready as they light a backfire to contain a grass fire four miles south and one mile east of Turon. Two dozen units, including trucks from the Preston Fire District, attacked the two-mile-long fire that burned CRP grass, CRP hay bales and trees the afternoon of March 6.

High winds and dry grass fueled a large grass fire that burned for about two miles of grass, bales and trees on the afternoon of March 6 in Reno County, near the Pratt County line.

About two dozen fire units from Reno County Fire District 7 and District 3 plus units from Harvey County, Buhler, Cunningham and Preston in Pratt County attacked the fire that cut a wide swathe through tall CRP fields and ignited CRP bales and burned through a grove of trees, igniting ceders and ground material.

Units attacked the fire from several locations as the winds pushed the fire that was caused by a controlled burn that got out of control about 5 miles south and a mile east of Turon. High winds quickly pushed the fire through tall CRP grass and jumped Maple Grove Road into another field of CRP where it burned a wide swathe.

The fire pushed its way towards a home on Sylvia Road. Reno County Fire District 7 Chief Dennis Kalmar and Reno County Emergency Management decided to back burn at the intersection of Sylvia Road and Boundary Road to knock down the fuel supply and prevent it from going further north and east.

The back burn was also set further east to protect the house that was threatened by the fire.

Two fire task forces were established at the intersection, one to move south and one to move east to protect the house. Fire units lined up and followed the back burn south from the intersection to make sure it didn’t cross the road to the west or northwest into other pastures of tall CRP grass.

The area of the fire was in the southwest corner of Reno County.

The high winds and dry conditions continued into Saturday, March 7. Pratt County fire districts answered calls to two small grass fires including one near NE 120th Avenue and NE 90th Street in the Preston Fire District.

Both fires were quickly extinguished, and there were no injuries reported.