City of Pratt firefighters make quick work of grass fire along railroad tracks

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
A high fire danger alert proved true in Pratt on Monday when grass along the railroad tracks at Iowa Street just north of U.S. Highway 54 on the western side of Pratt city limits caught fire. The blaze was extinguished quickly by Pratt firefighters.

Just hours after the U.S. National Weather Service in Dodge City issued a high fire danger warning last Monday, City of Pratt firefighters were paged out for a grass fire on the western edge of Pratt. Grass along the north side of U.S. Highway 54 near Iowa Street was burning along the railroad tracks.

"It's total speculation as to what started the fire, but from the wind direction and the burn pattern it is likely the fire was started by a spark from a train," said City of Pratt Co-Fire Chief Todd Hoffman.

Hoffman said an empty wheat field nearby also burned but that no structures were in danger, even though the blaze took place in a heavily-traveled area and was visible to many passersby.

"We responded with both engines 1 and 2 along the highway, then we had a squad brush truck number 3 that came in from the north," Hoffman said. "We got the fire put out pretty quick and there was little danger or damage."

Though City of Pratt firefighters are trained mostly to put out structure or vehicle fires, their response to the grass burning along Iowa Street was fast and efficient, according to Hoffman.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, the high fire danger warning was issued Monday because of wind speed and low minimum relative humidity levels.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, the City of Pratt Fire Department responded to a call-out at 9:33 a.m. on North Jackson. No fire was found but steam was coming out of an electrical box so firefighters shut of power to the box and shut off the water. Cause of the alarm was a water leak.