No rest for firefighters as Tuesday's fire potential ramps up

Local fire crews didn't get much of a break Tuesday, as more grass fires broke out across Lyon County this afternoon.

Emporia firefighters responded to a grass fire shortly before 5pm Tuesday. The fire was contained to the alleyway near 1102 East Street, behind an apartment complex. No injuries were reported. No word on the cause of the fire.

Shortly after 1pm Tuesday, Americus fire crews responded to a grass fire at 860 Road 290, roughly seven miles south-southwest of Allen. Firefighters quickly had the fire mostly under control, which torched less than ten acres of grass and at least four hay bales. This fire was rekindled from Sunday, after a controlled burn apparently went out of control. At the time, weather conditions were fair but still prime for potential fires. No information on the property owner has been released.

This fire comes after a long string of grass fires in Emporia and rural Lyon County.

Shortly before 2:30 pm Monday, firefighters from Americus were toned out to Road 280 for a series of grass fires between Roads "H-5" and "K." Several other departments were called out half an hour later, including Emporia, Allen-Admire, Dunlap and Reading.

Lyon County Sheriff Jeff Cope says a planned burn apparently got out of control in the 2700 block of "H-5," burning at least 500 acres of grass and destroying at least one barn before firefighters got the blazes under control.

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There were a lot of hot spots, so crews spent over five hours on scene to make sure everything was out. Unfortunately, the fire rekindled, so Emporia crews went out around 4 am and spent about an hour dousing that blaze. They went back again with Americus firefighters to put water on smoldering fence posts so those don't develop into a larger fire later.

No injuries were reported. The exact address where the fire started has not been released.

That was the start of a very busy six-hour stretch for area firefighters. Right around 4 pm, fire developed in at least one hay bale in the 300 block of Road "X." Hartford and Olpe firefighters handled the blaze. A final damage tally has not been released and the property owners's name has not been divulged.

Around 4:30 pm, firefighters were called to 631 East Logan for a grass fire. When crews arrived, they found a person burning leaves in a container. The fire reached a privacy fence before it was extinguished, burning approximately six feet of fencing. The Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall is listed as the owner.

Shortly before 7 pm, Emporia firefighters were called to 1010 East after a barbecue fire got into some nearby grass. The fire was out by the time fire crews arrived. A small patch of grass was burned. There were no injuries. Unice Brooks is the occupant; Roman Properties owns the property.

Emporia crews were called out to 1319 Road "F-5," about three miles southwest of Emporia, after a planned burn got out of control shortly after 10:30 pm. About 80 acres burned before crews turned the tide. Kit Detwiler owns the property.

Firefighters were also called out to Roads 200 and "F-5," about two miles northwest of Emporia, after a blaze developed around 2 am Tuesday. There is currently no word on what started the fire, a damage estimate or who owns the property.

Area firefighters are concerned Tuesday may see a higher fire danger than Monday, with westerly winds gusting as high as 35 mph for much of the day and ongoing dry conditions.

KVOE News Director Chuck Samples contributed to this report.

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