November was a busy fire month for area firefighters

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
A grass fire burned up to the edge of a barn on one side and a cotton field on the other on the yard of Darrell Flores at 40363 SE 60th Street on Monday, November 30, capping off a long month of weekly fires to fire for area firefighters.

November was a busy month for Pratt-area firefighters with call-outs happening every week, sometimes more than once.

On Friday, November 6 the Byers Fire Department responded to a call-out at 10:52 a.m. in response to a trailer hauiling cotton bales on fire. The incident occurred 3/4 mile North of Byers when a rear axle on a loaded trailer sparked a fire that burned the trailer tires and two cotton bales at the rear of the trailer. The fire was extinguised without further  excitement.

Then on Sunday, November 8, Byers firefighters were called out again, this time along with firefighters from nine other departments to tackle a grassfire that threatened buildings at NE 60th Avenue, along E. Highway 54/400, east of Pratt.

The alarm page was sounded at 3:40 p.m. and departments from Preston, Township 12, Iuka, Cullison, Turon, Sawyer, Cunningham and Pratt County Fire and Rescue, along with Byers reponsded.

“The big concern was the wind,” said Preston Fire Chief Greg Meireis. “When the first units arrived on scene we had a fully engulfed line of fire, and rugged terrain to work with.”

Meireis said the firefighters were able to keep the fire south of the railroad tracks and away from multiple structures just north of the area.

“All of the fire units worked extremely well together as one force,” Meiries said. “It was a 100 percent positive experience. We knew what we had to do and we got it done.”

Additional fire calls for the month were also handled expertly with no injuries.

City of Pratt firefighters responded to a home fire in Iuka on November 16, when a caller identified a trailer house north of the post office there that had flames coming out of the windows. No one was hurt in the blaze that had Iuka and Pratt firefighters teaming up for quick extinguishing efforts.

Other small fires were reported during the month, as fire danger was high despite recent rains. Pratt Fire and Rescue teams also assisted at an accident involving a semi and an RV on November 20 on U.S. Hwy 54/400 just east of the First Street stoplight, between Casey's and Kansas Inn.

A grass fire at 40363 SE 60th Street north of Sawyer threatened several farm outbuildings on one side and a cotton field on the other on Monday, November 30, but Sawyer firefighters were able to get the flames knocked down quickly, despite ever-present Kansas winds.