Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Out of control

Grass fires, fueled by high winds, take a toll

April 9, 2003

The pitter-patter of rain on the roof Saturday night was warmly welcomed at the Ogden home southwest of Tonganoxie.

For Richard Ogden, Reno Township fire chief, the 0.30 of an inch that fell meant that grass fires in the county might slow down.

"That was music to our ears," Ogden said of the rainfall.

Ogden and firefighters from Leavenworth and Jefferson counties spent the lion's share of last week working to extinguish a grass fire. Before the blaze was finally knocked down, it had torched a 2-mile-by1-mile swath of land in Jefferson and Leavenworth counties.

The fire started when the grandson of a landowner in Jefferson County legally burned a field. The fire got away from the man, and jumped over 17th Street into another field. That was on a Sunday. During the next four days, firefighters worked on knocking down the fire, which was fueled by high winds and dry leaves and timber.

Last Wednesday, Ogden said, he and other firefighters were in danger from fire that was shooting up trees.

"You really had to be on your toes to keep those trees from falling on you," he said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.