Picture of the T-boned van that was knocked into the ditch. District 3 fire fighters have just finished de-energizing the car.
Jamuary 28, two grass fire calls.
Grassland fire danger was in the moderate category today. I was digging post holes a mile from home in the afternoon, listening on the pager as district 5 was fighting a grass fire. Soon they called district 7 for mutual aid, then Solomon fire as things were getting dicey with the fire threatening several structures. The fire scene was just northeast of Salina. Then the pager tones our tone stating two squads were needed to help with the fire. I left home responding to I-70, the quickest way to the fire northeast of Salina. Sqs. 330 and 320 responded and I was going to meet them at the scene. At this time the pager tones district 6 to a west Cloud st. address (wich actually was probably our area and call) for a out of control fire burning toward some CRP grass. I immediately turned around and headed for this call as there was enough personal to take care of the district 5 fire. Emergency management came on and requested district 3 to help district 6 with this new fire since it was unknowen how bad this fire could be. I called in that I was responding to this new fire. I got on scene before district 6 finding the fire burning up a brome meadow towards some tall weeds and trees and eventually CRP. I called on scene, medium sized fire burning in short grass and took incident command. I directed the first district 6 truck to attack the fire nearest to the tall weeds since that was the most threat. The truck got bogged down in mud for a while but made it up to where I was. I hopped on the truck and ran the whip line while the driver used the front remote and we went on the attack. I was spraying the fire line while directing the second "6" truck in as well as arriving district 3 firefighters. Loren R. took my place and Jed B. got on the other 6 truck and we quickly got the fire under control. Joe from emergency management arrived and we gathered with the land owner to plan strategy. The land owner was burning a log pile and the fire spread to the grass. It was decided that the landowner would get his loader tractor and push the smoldering logs to the center of the burned out area. A "6" squad would wait till he got back. I called dispatch that the fire was under control, then transferred command to district 6 guys and all district 3 people left and went home. I didn't have my camera which hurt because the district 5 fire had an impressive smoke plume.
March 9, house fire in Salina.
I took mom to Ash Wednesday church service this evening. After the service, we were driving down Ninth street, when I saw a glow one house down a side street. I turned down that street and saw a fire burning on top of the back porch of the house. I flipped open my phone to dial 911 but I had turned it off in church. I then called dispatch on my fire radio giving the location of the fire. It initially looked like a grill was burning but later it seemed that some kind of chair was on fire. There was no one at the scene at this time. The fire was spreading up the side of the the house when I ran up to look with my flashlight. I pounded on the locked door and shined my light through the window and the house looked vacant. This was confirmed by the neighbors next door. Engine 1 arrived at this time and I gave the driver all my information. I watched as the firefighters pulled hoselines and forced the front door in. By now the fire had quickly involved the side of the house and flames were higher than the top of the roof. With the hose charged, a firefighter attacked the outside and quickly knocked out the visible flames. Thick dark smoke was spewing out the front door as firefighters with a thermal camera were preparing to enter to check the interior. I went to the truck officer and told him I was leaving, then snapped a picture of Engine 1 and left the scene thinking-----that was interesting!
Before I left, I snapped this picture of the fire truck first on scene---Engine 1.
March 10, two calls in one day.
For quite a while, we at district 3 have had few fire calls while the other districts around us have had fire runs. That may be changing. Grassland fire danger was in the "moderate" category today with people burning perscribed burns all over. I was in Bramlidge arena, Manhatten, watching Ell-Saline girls play basketball around 5 pm. I was talking to chief Scott when he said that we had a mutual aid call with district 6 on a large grass fire around houses! I called Jeremy by cell phone as his pager is spastic. He took T-342 to the fire and helped mop up. I got home from the game around 7:30 and was doing chores when the pager tones for a grass fire on Muir Rd. I responded to the Brookville station as there was some confusion on where the fire was. Dispatch finally sorted out the location---down in McPherson county so we terminated the call and went home. Grassland fire danger is in the very high category for tomorrow. More probably later.
March 11,grass fire, Hedville and Lockard Rd.
Grassland fire danger was in the extreme level with a red flag warning for Saline county. I was working in the shop, listening to district 5 battle a large grass fire in Ottowa county when our call came in. I called Jeremy by cell then headed to Brookville. 340 then E-341 left the station so I called the IC if he needed T-342----he did. I got on scene and staged along the road and started to fill squads after T-331 ran out of water. I filled 4.5 squads then went to the Hedville station to refill. I returned to the scene and refilled one more squad then was released to return to station. This fire was started from a controled burn that was done yesterday. There were some dead trees that were smoldering and when the wind shifted sparks fell on unburned grass. A small shed was burned as the fire burned right by a farmstead. A row of cedar trees along the farmstead driveway were savaged by the fire also. District 7 helped with this fire as well as most of the trucks from district 3. The problem with this fire was all the trees in the draws that were burning---we had to cut down several trees then douse them out.
Picture of fire scene including singed/burned cedar trees lining the homeowners driveway.
My job was to refill empty squads. Here I'm refilling sq. 350. Michael H. is in shadow watching fill rate while Gary S. is standing up inspecting a hose nozzle.
March 12, large grass fire at the Smoky Hill weapons range.
Grassland fire danger was in the "high" category today. I was planning to go to Manhatten to watch Ell-Saline girls play in the championship game at 4 pm. At noon, I checked with Jason and Jed and Jeremy to be sure there would be fire fighters on hand if we got a call. I figured several fire fighters would be at the game. Before noon, district 5 and district 2 fought a fire southeast of Salina. Then district 6 was called to assist Marquete with a fire in the southern part of the county. One could see that things were building. At 2:15 Grandma and I hit the road for Manhatten. When we were east of Salina, (Abilene) I heard Smoky fire call for district 3 on an out of control fire at the south end of the range. I made numerous calls to our fire fighters getting them situated on what to do. At Chapman I was out of range with radio comms. but continued on to the game. Jeremy called me at the game asking questions on how to operate E-341. He said that things were getting dicey with the fire potentially ready to jump the road out of the range! I didn't enjoy the game after that. As soon as the game was over, Grandma and I left the arena home bound. I called our guys and found that they were finally getting the upper hand with the fire. They told me that 9 fire districts were involved with two fires on the south end of the weapons range with Marquete district losing a truck to the fire! They also said that the burn length was around 2 miles long! All this happened with winds in the 10 to 15 mph range with a gust or two to 20. It's really getting dry.
Jeremy took this picture as the head fire from the weapons range rolls over the hill.
The fire burned up to the road where fire fighters stopped it.
Hanna from Saline emergency management rode with a district 6 squad and took this picture.
Hanna from emergency management took this picture of Michael H. and Jeremy wetting down and removing a smoldering log where the fire jumped the road but was knocked down.
March 17, Semi/grass fire, southwest of Carnerio.
I was awakened at 3:30 am by this call. Kanopolis and Ellsworth fire district called us for mutual aid. I geared up and headed for the scene. After driving 5-6 miles, we were called off. Later I learned a semi took a wrong road, then got stuck, caught fire and burned up.
March 18, out of control grass fire at Hedville and Shipton roads.
Grassland fire danger was in the high category with northeast winds around 12 mph. I had just left our neighbor's house after helping them for a moment in the afternoon. Jeremy had just called from his bus route stateing there was a fire north of Hedville---he didn't know if it was controlled or not. Five minutes later we were paged. A rancher was burning some CRP grass when the fire was "sucked" through a culvert under Hedville road and ignited 320 acres of CRP grass. I went to Brookville and brought 342 to the scene. Squad 320 was first on scene and with chief 301 at the helm, propmly got stuck. The crp ground was too muddy. Since the affected crp was bounded by cultivated fields, we patrolled the east-west road so the fire would not jump it and waited for the field to burn out. As time went by, more and more trucks were sent back to the stations. I stood by for a while then was released to go home.
The CRP grass was tall and burned well. It was too muddy to go out and attack this fire.
Squad 360 was keeping the fire from jumping the east-west road.
Trucks are patrolling the road as the fire burns on making a big smoke plume.
March 24, two calls in one day.
Grassland fire danger was in the high category today with east winds 10 to 15 mph. Burn bans were lifted after the previous two days where winds were howling. Many people were out burning today. The first call was around 1 pm for a controlled burn out of control at Humbarger and Powers Rd. Jeremy and I went to Brookville and stood by while several squads knocked out this fire. The IC released us after a short time and we went home. The second call was around 3:30 in Ellsworth county, 29 and ave J. Again, a controlled burn out of control. I was fixing fence on the Saline/Ellsworth line when we got the call. I had already brought along my gear and radio so just took off for Brookville. Jeremy called he was going straight to the fire. Shane and Jason were out the door with Sq. 340 and I was 6 minutes behind with 342. Sq. 340 called on scene, large grass fire---call Ellsworth for mutual aid. Chief 301 had District 7 paged to stand by to cover our area as several other people were burning and we were responding with everything we had in district. Sq. 330 and I arrived at the same time. We worked the north fire line with 340. Jeremy left 340 to jump on with me as I needed a hoseman, Jason stayed with Shane on 340. Smoke made problems with 0 visibility at times. I could hear on the radio of a house in danger. We came over a hill and I see the house ahead with the fire heading for it. Luckily, a newly constructed pond was between the fire and the house as well as short grass around the house. This stopped/diverted the fire around the house and it was saved. With the north fire line taken care of, we shifted to the south fire line and continued the attack. On the radio, Incident Command was concerned about the fire jumping Highway 141. Again smoke was blocking our view. We bypassed a steep ditch, then saw the fire burning up to the highway. A beautiful sight appeared. Several LARGE as well as squad sized Ellsworth county trucks were poised on the highway, nozzels pointed! As the fire burned up close, they opened up stopping the fire cold! I pulled up on the highway and refilled with water off a Ellsworth tanker and returned to the fire line. A secondary fire started up on the south line but by now, several trucks were in the area and knocked it out before Jeremy and I could get there. We worked the southeast fire line as that was where the last fire remained. This was in VERY steep and rocky terrain so Jeremy and I parked the truck and did some mountain climbing, kicking out fire with our feet. Others joined us and the fire was stomped and sprayed out. We were directed to Highway 141 again to help refill squads working burning tall trees. While waiting I saw a lightning flash to the southwest! Command pulled all firefighters out of the trees and back on the highway as the lightning increased. Then it began to rain and hail! That finished our firefighting job so we returned to Brookville and fueled up the trucks and went home. This fire burned from 100 yards wide up to a quarter a mile wide and burned 1.5 miles in length. The fire got away while the ranchers were backburning the down wind side of the pasture. There was a row of hills upwind of the backburn and I speculate the east wind came over the hill row, sank and swirled, causing embers to cross the fire break. I hope that this will be the "big one" for the spring.
Jeremy took this picture of the last part of the fire we had to put out. It was very steep and rocky---difficult terrain.
Picture of the row of hills where the fire started. The narrow strip at the top of the picture is where the fire jumped the containment line.
Picture shows some the length the fire traveled on it's one-and-a-half mile burn to highway 141.
March 25, late evening run.
I was just getting out of the bath tub at 10:55 when I heard the pager beeping. The call was Schilling and Brownhill roads possible fire out of control. I drove to Brookville and took 340 out as Shane took 342 first. We found a gate to the pasture where we could see fire burning. Jed B. arrived at this time and I had him drive while I rode in the "cage". We, (342 and 340) drove to the middle of the pasture and found a small fire burning surrounded by burned off grass---the last vestages of the controlled burn started earlier. We called this info to chief Scott and he turned all responding trucks back to their stations.
March 27, car fire/pasture fire, south Lightville Rd., a midnight run.
This call came in almost exactly at midnight. The scene was in the southeast corner of our district. By the time I got to Brookville, 340 and 342 had left the station already. Law enforcement got on scene stating a vehichle about burned out and a spreading grass fire. I stopped at the station and got a double female coupler for 342 in case they needed to refill squads. District 3 had a good turnout to this fire. By the time I got on scene, all fires were out. I snapped a couple of pictures, gave the coupler to Shane and went home.
Later we found out that the car was reported stolen the day before in Wichita.
Picture of Chad W. cooling the car engine. There was nobody associated with the car present so we did not know what started the fire.
April 3, car fire at Sundowner west.
All this night the wind was roaring out of the south. At 3 am. the pager toned for a vehicle on fire by a house. I responded as fast as I could, thinking that flames could blow into the house creating a big problem. I headed to Brookville until I heard Jason leave with E-341. I then hurried straight to the scene. Hedville station units got on scene and knocked out the fire before it spread to the house so when I got there the fire was out---a good ending although the car was destroyed---it could have been worse!
April 5, grass fire old highway 40 mile marker 12 almost the big one.
Grassland fire was around extreme rateing with Red Flag conditions all day. I was working in the field when this call came in. Liz came and traded with me since the fire was up-wind from our farm. I drove straight south to highway 40 then west to the fire. Shane was already on scene with Sq. 340 but the pump motor would not run. I helped with that for a while watching the fire spread on southwest winds. I then called Chief Abker stateing we needed Ellsworth/Kanopolis paged to help. The fire only needed to spread a little more and it would have caught an abandoned house as well as taking off into hilly/rocky pasture. Squad 350 and 330 arrived next. There was a hustle to attack the fire around the house area and after a few tense hot minutes the two squads knocked the fire down. This effort was hampered by multiple old fences that was in the way. I rode on 350 during this time. We then attacked the main fire line and knocked most of that fire down as well. By now several Ellsworth trucks arrived and fire control was achieved rather quickly. We all mopped up hot spots and chief Abker released most units to go home. He then transferred incident command to me and left. Jed B.,myself and the land tenant stayed on scene for a while, dousing fence posts with T-342. After that, I closed the incident with dispatch and went home. This fire nearly became the "big one"---if 350/330 would have arrived a couple of minutes later, the fire would have involved the old shack and would have spread into dead trees/dead weeds and taken off across the hills. The fire started when a truck pulling a trailer had an overheated tire on the trailer. The tire fell off and rolled into the ditch, starting the fire.
The fire started here off of old 40 highway.
The fire burned right up to the old house before 350&330 knocked it out.
Mud also hampered fire fighting efforts.
Jed and land tenant were checking hedge posts for smoldering fire right before we left the scene.
April 6, a burn not called in, grass fire just southeast of Bavaria.
Grassland fire danger was in the high category today. I was leaving Salina around 8:30 pm. when I saw a glow in the Bavaria area. I drove around the section that the fire was burning and it looked ok so I went on towards home. I was passing Brookville when the pager tones. I pulled up to the station, geared up and called dispatch. I told them I had driven around the fire---it looked ok to me. Dispatch came back and said no one had called in a burn in the Bavaria area so emergency management said "put it out". I rode with Shane B. on sq. 340 to the fire. We knocked out any fire burning on the east side while other squads cleared out fire in the rest of the burning area. Around 10:30 we finished up and returned to the station where we refilled 340 and went home.
April 8, controlled burn out of control, Ellsworth county, 25th rd. and ave. k.
Grassland fire danger was in the high category today. I was in Salina getting repairs when this call came in. I responded to Brookville where it was decided that I would bring E-341 for water support. This fire was in the extreme southwest corner of our district---right up next to Kanopolis lake. Between district 3 and the Kanopolis district, the fire was brought under control quickly although the fire scene was very hard to get to! I ended up filling all our squads after they wound their way back to the road I staged on then we went back to the stations. Tomorrow and the next day are burn ban days due to expected high winds. Also this morning I had an extended talk with Andy K. at the Wichita NWS about the state of the fire danger here in central Kansas.
April 9, two calls in one day.
Today grassland fire danger was near the extreme category with red flag conditions. We (the Brookville station) went to Smoky Hill weapons range at 1:30 to inspect their fire fighting equipment. On the way home we were paged to a fire at highway 141 and 40 in Ellsworth county. A previous day's burn reignited and burned into a large hill full of trees and brush. Due to the wind blowing strongly a large turnout from Ellsworth, Kanopolis and district 3. I was second on scene and after checking the threat down range, trying to figure how to gain access to the fire, and finding a truck to ride on, I took incident command. I got in chief 301's command vehicle and directed the effort. The main problem was the grade and terrain. Most fire fighting was done with rake and shovel---hot work with temps 90 degrees. After 3 hours of effort, I called the incident over and we went home, pretty tired out. At around 11 pm we were paged out to a Powers Rd address for trees burning. I did not respond to this minor fire.
Sunday April 10, THE BIG ONE.
Grassland fire index was extreme today with a red flag warning. After church, I took Glendale's T-351 to Happy Corner school to have it's hoses tested. While we were testing, my phone rings---it was a friend at the Kanopolis dam area asking if we were called to a fire. He could see smoke ro his north. I hung up and called Jed B. and asked him to turn on his Ellsworth fire radio and listen. Through his phone I could hear the fire fighters talking. He said they were heading down 25th Rd. the same area we were called two days ago. I said oh S! and hung up. I conveyed this information to Rob, who was directing the hose testing for several trucks where we were at. He called chief Abker and asked what to do if we were called. Just after he hung up we were toned for mutual aid to a large grass north of Kanopolis lake. There was a scramble to get squads rolling, hose testing was done. I left with T-351, the first time I drove it ever. District 3 responded with everything except E-321 & E-361 which we left at the hose test area. I got on scene along with Jed in E-341. We staged at ave L ready to refil the dozens of squads that passed us going to the fire. After a few minutes waiting, I could see that the fire was going to reach highway 141 soon as terrain would slow the fire suppression effort. Jed, Rick B. and I then took 341 & 351 back to highway 141 then south to stage in front of the advancing fire. There was a small housing development, across the highway, right in line with the advancing fire. Around this time, the Ellsworth IC declared a fire emergency for the fire! I called KSAL as well as the NWS alerting them about the situation. Fire trucks were arriving from all over central Kansas, probably over 50 trucks responded to the urgent call. It was decided to try to set a backfire along the west side of the highway to try to stop the head fire from jumping across the road and into the housing development. A rancher with a drip torch on a 4-wheeler started down the ditch lighting the backfire, heading north. Several fire trucks followed, bumper to bumper trying to keep the backfire from spreading across the highway due to the strong west winds that was whipping up the flames. After sucessfully backburning a ways north, the back burn team turned around and came back to extend the backburn south. This time Rick and I joined in with 351 helping to keep the backburn from crossing the highway. At this time the head fire came over the hill just to our west, but was heading to a point in front of the rancher setting the backfire. Desprately he raced foreward setting fire as we followed with several trucks. I lost sight of him in the smoke as the head fire roared up to the ditch right in front of 351. The heat was intense as I was standing on the back of the truck, there was nil visibility except for the glow of the flames and the smoke was so thick I was having a hard time breathing! I turned my nozzle to a fan pattern and held it in front of my face both to help breathing and reduce the intense heat. After about a minute, visibility improved a little and the flames died out---we all looked around, the backfire had held!!! Now the fire suppression effort concentrated on both flanks of the fire, an easier task after the head fire was stopped. It still took an hour and a half to knock down the flanks. Rick and I refilled many squads during this time until we ran out of water. We were then released to go home and refil 351's empty tank and I got home at 9:30. Jeremy rode on T-342 and I never saw him the whole time I was on scene. He got home at midnight. Around 2000 acres burned in 4 hours with the fire traveling 2 miles. The ranchers claimed if the fire had jumped highway 141 it would have burned on 5 more miles before hitting cultivated ground. This was the big one.
Kody took this picture of the smoke as his fire truck closed in. The smoke plume was so large it was picked up by Wichita's NWS radar.
Jeremy is riding on the back of T-342 as they were driving out to the fire.
Picture of the backfire burning before the headfire arrived. Kody's picture.
Picture of the headfire roaring into the southern backfire. Rick and I with 351 would be two trucks ahead of Kody. Kody's picture.
April 19, motor home fire, mile marker 242, I-70.
I was feeding cattle just west of my house when this call came in. I headed east and called in my response to dispatch. I figured to go to Brookville to get 341 but would go to the scene if someone responded from there. Jeremy called that he was in Brookville and would take 341 so I went straight to the scene. I was first on scene and gave a sizeup---nothing showing. I got out and talked with the owners---they had a bearing on their front wheel go out, loosing the wheel. A small fire resulted from the overheated bearing and the owner put it out. I immediately called off all responding firetrucks and left the scene as troopers and sheriff cars arrived and took over.
April 23, some calls.
We have had a couple of calls recently. One, a car fire at 11 pm on north Hedville Rd. and a grass fire in the ditch east of Bavaria. Due to distance, I didn't respond to either call. Other firefighters quickly took care of these fires.
May 9, grass fire, 900 block north 141 highway.
Grassland fire was in the "very high" category today. I was cooking dinner (noon) when this call came in. I expected it to be a fire in the ditch along 141 but it turned out to be next to a house off of 141. After searching the area, with phone help from chief 301 I found the fire scene. I gave Sq. 330 directions to the scene and we put out the small fire. Incredibly this fire rekindled from a previous fire 3 weeks ago! There was a hay/manure pile that had burned earlier and the 5" of compost smoldered underneath the surface until poping up and igniting some grass and dead weeds. We soaked the area and I called the fire out and we went home.
After I got on scene, I snapped this picture of the small fire.
May 16, 900 block highway 141 revisited.
I had just finished a late noon meal when this call came in. I knew from the address that it was same place second verse. As I neared the address, I saw more smoke in the air than last week. The peat bed had relit some dead grass along the side and was back burning the lawn back towards the house. A neighbor saw the smoke and investigated and called for help. I called on scene and took command and jumped out and snapped a picture. I pulled on my grass fire suit and started kicking the fire out. The neighbor joined in and we had the majority of the fire out before Sq. 330 & 350 arrived. I had the squads knock down the rest of the fire then we soaked the edge of the compost pit. I had difficulty clearing the call with dispatch when we left. I'm not sure if our reception was bad or my radio was working funky. Hopefully the fire will stay out for good.
There was enough "clippings" on the lawn to carry a fire burning seemingly green grass. I told the homeowner perhaps they could have someone disc the compost pit so to mix the last vestages of smoldering peat with soil in case we didn't get everything soaked underground.
June 8, two vehicle fire in Hedville.
This fire was paged out in the late afternoon/evening. Temps were near 100. The call stated two vans on fire threatening buildings. I responded towards Brookville until I heard Shane and Jason leave with 341 when I headed towards the scene. I got on scene, geared up, waited for 341 as 321 was running low on water. 341 arrived and I pulled no. 2 speedlay as Shane hooked up a 3" line from 341 to 321. We charged lines and I helped finish off the burning cars. Rob and Sheldon had the fires pretty well knocked out so it was a mop up situation. It appeared that the homeowners drove a van to the edge of the yard where tall grass/hay was laying and parked on top of a bunch of hay. The engine was hot enough to ignite the grass and the fire spread to an extra car and nearby hayfield. Temps were hard on all of us firefighters.
Picture of the two cars that burned as the residents inspect the damage. I helped with popping the hoods of both so we could cool the engine area better.
The fire is out, time to relax a bit and drink some water before stacking hoses. Heat was an issue. Engine 321 was first on scene and had the fire pretty well knocked down before I got there, a very goodjob!
I was suprised how well the newly cut brome burned.
June 25,night time house fire call.>
This call came came in around 1 am for a wesr Stimmel Rd. address. I geared up and called in to dispatch. I called Jeremy by cell phone and we were trying to figure the address---he had several friends that lived in that area. First responders on scene called in, house completely involved---not good. I went to Brookville as command asked for tankers from district 7. I responded with T-342. When I got on scene the house was completely down! Fortunately, the house was unoccupied. We did mop up to cool things down before the arson investigator arrived, then I took 342 back to the station then home at 4 am.
Jeremy took this picture of me standing in the basement area. I was taking a breather from cooling the area in anticipation that the fire investigator would arrive soon.
July 4th, grass fire in Brookville.
We were shooting our fire works in the evening when this call came in: grass burning towards a house. I jumped in my truck and called in I was responding. At the same time Chief Mark responded with Sq. 340. I got about 5 miles down the road when Mark came on and called the fire out.
July 19, a few calls.
We've had a few mostly minor calls during the last couple of weeks. The most significant came in July 13. I had just left the house at 5 am. driving to Harper Kansas when we were paged for a fire in the Rolling Hills hayshead. Luckily, after two previous fires, they stacked the hay in different areas of the shed. Jeremy said that RFD 3 stood by as the employes used loaders to remove smoldering bales and the haybarn was saved. We had two calls on the U.P. railroad where the grinding train was working. I responded but was turned back as nothing was found. Last night (19th) we were paged to a propane leak near the Hedville station. The leak was taken care of by the guys at Hedville so I didn't respond.
July 24, more calls not much happening.
A couple of days ago we had some storms moving through with nasty lightning. I checked two different possibilities of lightning induced grass fires---no fires were found. Friday was an active day in Saline county. District 7 had a car/grass fire on I-70. Thunderstorms passing caused the winds to kick up so the on scene command called for district 3 to man stations. I responded to Glendale which was closer to the scene. Before I got there district 7 command called fire under control and released us.
July 24, grass fire started by lightning Stimmel and Lightville Rd.
Liz and I were working at the church in Salina when this call came in around 4 pm. We left and headed to the fire scene. We actully got on scene before any fire trucks arrived. I geared up while Liz shot pictures. I got on sq. 340 and we started the attack. The fire was burning down a tree/plum thicket row as well as spreading into the adjacent pasture. We joined Sq. 320 and knocked out the head fire burning in the pasture. We then started to mop up the tree row when we came upon the tree that was struck by lightning and started the fire. After soaking the tree down, (there was bark blown off everywhere) we scrambled back to the front of the fire where it had reignited. We, as well as Sq. 360 knocked this fire out for good. At this time we ran out of water and refilled off of T-331. Temps were around 98 which was hard on all firefighters. The landowners gave us ice water---that was really good. Jason and I then took 340 back to a standing, burning dead tree. I used the chain saw off of 340 and cut this tree down as Jason sprayed water keeping embers off of me. We did a little more mop up and IC declared the fire out and we went home.
Liz snapped this picture of the smoke from the fire in the tree row. I was gearing up waiting for Sq. 340 to arrive.
Jason and I are getting ready to begin the attack.
Jed is refilling Sq. 360. While refilling the water tanks we drank cold water and rested.
Jason and I getting ready to cut down the burning tree.
Jason is wetting down the area around where I am cutting down the tree.
July 28, grass fire started by lightning, Hoenick&Lockhard Rd.
I was checking cattle in the evening when a storm popped up next to Salina. Soon it became solid with lots of lightning. As I was driving home, I looked to the distant northeast and saw a plume of smoke. I hurried home and switched trucks when this call came in. Shane B. left Brookville with Sq. 340 and I called him stateing I would meet him at the fire. We got on scene and joined Sqs. 320, 360 and 350 attacking the fire. Fire fighting was hampered somewhat by many fences and few gates! Jeremy went to Brookville and brought T-342 and refilled 3 squads before running out of water. We finally got the fire out and I got home at 10 pm.
After letting the fence down to drive through, Shane and I are attacking the last of the fire. I'm driving Sq. 340 this time. Picture by Kay E.
8/6/2011. Fire support at Smoky Hill bomb range air show.
Jeremy--Shane--Jason and I took T-342 to Smoky Hill's air show. It had rained so the grass was wet and no fires occured. F-16s, B-52s and A-10s dropped 500# slick/high drag bombs. The '16s and '10s shot up a storm. An exercise was demonstrated using ground troops calling in air strikes. Below is a pictorial essay.
A blackhawk takes off with forward air control troops. The troops deployed in front of the crowd to simulate a tac air scenario.
The FAC troops are using smoke to mark their position. The two guys in red are videoing the action.
A-10s are overhead and the troops sight the enemy. The bad guys shoot missels at the A-10s.
The troops are retreating from the bad guys and calling in an air strike on a simulated target.
Flying dirt envelopes the target from a one second burst with the 30 mil. A-10 gun. Bad guys are down!
A-10 banks over the target. Note how the color of the plane blends with the cloud.
An AH-64 attack chopper was nex on the schedule.
Picture of Jeremy standing in front of the simulated target---a semi trailer. Note the numerous 20/30 milimeter holes plus bomb strikes.
Not a badger hole. A 500# slick bomb dropped from an F-16 made this. I could see down at least 8 feet. Lots of energy here.
A 500# bomb punches clear through the trailer.
Sept.4,Labor Day parade in Brookville.
Most every year we drive our fire trucks from the Brookville station in the Labor Day parade. We fire fighters enjoy doing it and I think the crowd likes the siren/candy throwing mayhem.
Shane is driving while Rod wets down the parade route.
Liz and Meghan are waiting for the parade to begin as Jeremy stands by.
Jed and I are throwing candy off Sq. 340. Jeremy is the driver.
Rod and Jason took E-341 down the parade route.
September 8, injury accident mile marker 17, old highway 40.
Earlier we had a car fire call at 4 am this morning with nothing found. This call came in around 2:15 pm with the location just into Ellsworth county. As I responded I heard Salina dispatch on the scanner asking if anyone knew how many subjects were involved. Then I heard Jason P. leave the Brookville station in Sq. 340. I knew he would be first on scene so I gave him a heads up to call in the number of victims. He got on scene and reported one person entraped in the car in the ditch. The driver had a serious head injury. I got on scene about the same time as Saline county law enforcement/ems/rescue, as well as Ellsworth rescue/ems. Joe, Chad and Michael were on scene at the same time too. It was decided that Ellsworth rescue would do the extraction, district 3 would do ISD on the wrecked car. Then I heard that the life star helocopter was coming. I volunteered to set up the landing zone and be LZ command. Joe&Chad W. set up cones in a nearby alfalfa field for the LZ then we waited. Life star made contact with me and I directed them in for the landing. The ambulance pulled in next to the helo. and the victim was transferred. Jason took my camera and snapped pictures as the helocopter took off. A good job was done by all the different agencys at this wreck. I thought our rural district did well too. Jason got on scene first, and got pertinent information out. Justin, Michael and Jason did ISD. Joe Chad and I did the landing zone. Our main computer is being worked on so I will post pictures later.
Picture of the car that rolled into the ditch after the driver was removed.
After the chopper landed, the ambulance drove up and transferred the driver to the helo.
After victim was loaded, the pilot makes eye contact with me and I signal it is safe to take off.
The helo lifts off and turns and gains altitude, heading for the hospital.
September 12, mutual aid for a grass fire, Ellsworth county, old highway 40 and 25th rd.
Grassland fire was in the high category today with winds southwest and gusty. Temps were in the upper 90s. I was at home when this call came in at 1:45 pm. I could see a good plume of smoke when I left home en route to the fire. I got on scene just ahead of Jason in Sq. 340. I called in that there were two separate fires burning up to highway 40 and there would be a major problem if the fire jumped the highway. I geared up and Jason and I went on the attack. We started on the west flank of the western fire as more fire trucks arrived from our district as well as Ellsworth & Kanopolis. Fire control was difficult at times due to shifting winds creating erratic fire behavior. After we knocked out the west flank,(with help from a Ellsworth squad) we moved over to the east flank until running out of water. After refilling off of an Ellsworth tanker we reattacked the east flank of the west fire. Most all the arriving trucks went to the east fire as it was twice the size of the west fire. The terrain on the east flank was very steep so I had Jason shift into 4-wheel low range. Two other squads helped us knock out out the fire on the east flank. I looked over to the east fire, (west flank of that one) and saw 3 trucks slowly working high wind whiped flames that were roaring up to the highway. Two Ellsworth trucks were sitting on the highway trying to wet down the ditch/fire to keep the fire from jumping the highway. This situation looked grim so I had Jason drive over intending to do a qick knockdown in front of the three trucks so to help prevent the fire from overwhelming the two trucks stationed on highway 40. I set my nozzel on a fan pattern and we cut in front of the three trucks, rapidly knocking down the fire line. Things were working well until the truck behind us ran out of water. I had Jason "circle" out for a moment until the next two trucks caught up closer to be ready to mop up. We dove back into the fire line and knocked down the fire up to the highway. The fire didn't jump the highway! We went back to the west fire area and mopped up the perimeter until we ran out of water again. We then worked the west fire area perimeter again for a while then were released to go home as more fresh fire trucks arrived on scene. The two fires started off the railroad right-a-way, most likely by a passing train and burned around 60-70 acres. Around 30 fire trucks from at least 6 districts came to fight this fire. Jeremy was driving a bus trip and missed this action.
October 5, mutual aid call from Lincoln county on a large grass fire.
Grassland fire danger was in the very high category today with temps in the mid 80s and a south wind gusting to 30 mph. I was driving the tractor to the field when I looked west and saw a large plume of smoke. At first look it appeared that the fire might be burning off I-70 across the pasture where I have cattle. At the house I grabbed my gear and took off. The first high spot I got to showed that the fire was on the other side of the hill from my cattle. I called Jed B. and asked him to listen to Lincoln co. fire channel. He called back stating that the Lincoln command was going to call us for mutual aid. I drove on up to the fire scene that was located in a remote part of the county. There were no street signs with dead ends and curves in the roads. I talked to a couple different "locals", trying to determine the best route in for our responding firefighters. They were not much help. I called in to dispatch/district 3 that there was a large grass fire with fire units on scene fighting it. I found a fire truck from Beverly with guys driving that I knew. They told me where to send our arriving units. I back tracked a couple of miles, talking to the district 3 guys. I met two of our lead trucks and directed them in where the Beverly guys said to go. I then went in search for a command vehicle so I could coordinate district 3's efforts with the Lincoln units. Everywhere I went, nobody knew who was in charge. Around this time the fire was knocked down pretty well everywhere. By accident I ran into the incident commander coming out of the pasture to refill his fire truck. He told me to have our trucks work the east fire line to be sure the fire was really out. I went back to the staging area where I joined up with chief 301 until our trucks called in the fire was out. I could not locate the incident commander again so I talked with the Beverly chief and he oked our release to go back home. This fire started from "scrappers" using a cutting torch yesterday. When the winds whipped up, grass was ignited from smoldering leftovers. The fire burned 1.5 miles and consumed around 400 acres. Several fire districts from all over central Kansas responded to this fire. The fire would have burned further along but some cultivated ground blocked the headfire.
I snapped this picture of the smoke riseing as I closed in on the scene.
October 20, grass fire at Shipton and McGavern.
Grassland fire danger was in the high category today with northwest winds at around 10 mph. I was swathing alfalfa in the afternoon when this call came in. I called mom to get me and then headed to the scene which was about 5 miles from home. I got on scene with the fire pretty well knocked out by quick hits from Sq. 350 and 340 & 360. The fire possibly started from a small burn pile and involved many pieces of old boats and campers. Around 4 acres burned.
This is what I saw when I got on scene---most of the fire was knocked down except for a ditch and pieces of junk machinery.
Shane and Paul with Sq. 340 quickly knocked out the ditch fire.
Lots of junk equipment was involved in the fire.
Siarra is mopping up smoldering grass around the junk equipment.
October 26, fire call at mile marker 12, old highway 40.
I was awakened at 4:30 am by a clap of thunder. Around 15 minutes later the pager tones for this call. I dressed and headed south from home to the scene. On the way Jeremy joined me and we drove through intermittent rain. Sq. 340 passed in front of us as we pulled up to the highway. We ran into some smoke after driving a couple miles west right in the area of the reported fire. There were no visible flames. Jeremy and I circled down a back road to check upwind of the smoke. We found nothing. I returned to mile marker 12 where Sq. 340 was and found the smoke we smelled earlier was now gone. The rain did our job for us.
October 26, grass fire at 27th and highway 40. Lightning strike reignited.
Grassland fire danger was in the high category today with increasing northerly winds. I was driving towards my pasture in Lincoln county when this call came in around noon. I called Jeremy by cell and he met me at my place and we headed for the area. I could see smoke in that area as we left home. We got on scene just behind Shane in Sq. 340. While Jeremy geared up, Shane and I decided that I would be incident commander. I knew from past experience that the IC is better independant---ie not fighting fire in a fire truck---ie easier me staying in my pickup and directing the operation. As Jeremy and Shane went on the attack, I declared incident command to dispatch. At this time I called for Kanopolis fire dept. for mutual aid as well as law enforcement for traffic control. The fire was smoking up the highway which would make it dangerous for arriving fire trucks. I next stationed a farmer on the highway enterence to show arriving fire trucks where to turn in. I then drove to the first hill and directed arriving fire trucks where to go. Since I did not have Ellsworth frequencys I gave verbal orders to arriving Kanopolis/Ellsworth trucks. Fire control was achieved quickly after Ellsworth & Kanopolis arrived. I then called the fire under control, released the Ellsworth/Kanopolis trucks, then law enforcement. The wind kept increasing, making mop up more difficult. I transferred incident command to Shane as I had to get Jeremy back for his bus route and we left the scene. The fire started from the lightning strike we were paged to earlier this morning. The area smoldered until the increasing wind dried the grass from this morning rain shower then took off. About 25 acres burned.
The fire started from this area.
Picture after the fire was under control of some of the length the fire burned. Sq. 350 is on the left side of the picture, returning to refil their water tank.
The fire area was hilly and rocky.
Picture of Chief 301 riding on Sq.360 mopping up the fire perimeter. He probably enjoyed a chance to get his fingers dirty instead of directing the effort.
Picture of Joe and Chad in Sq. 330 mopping up the perimeter.
December 2, chimney fire on south Muir Rd.
I was jolted out of a sound sleep at 1 am. by this call, fire in the attic. The temp. was 20 with light winds. As I was driving to the scene I listened as E-341& T-342 responded from Brookville, E-321 responded from Hedville and T-351 & Sq. 330 also responded. Before anyone got on scene, dispatch called that Deputy on scene reported heavy smoke coming from the house. At this time Chief 301 called for district 6 for mutual aid. I got on scene after 341 & 342 & Chief 301. I finished gearing up then pulled the driver side speedlay off of E-341. I then went inside the house and talked with the owner. There was light smoke on the lower floors at this time. I climbed up a step ladder through the attic entrance hole and found moderate smoke but no fire. I took my flashlight and crawled across the attic on the 2x6 studs and found smoke streaming from a crack in the chimney. I crawled back out and conferred with Chief Scott that we didn't need district 6 for this incident---we could handle it. He called off district 6 while Jed, Jeremy, Paul and I gathered hammers and a pike pole and returned to the attic. Jeremy and Paul took turns breaking and removing brick and masonary off the chimney while I passed the debris through a vent hole to Justen who was on a ladder outside the house. The guys finally got into the center where a wooden stud and insulation was burning. This was removed and doused with water and the fire was out. We crawled out of the attic, repacked hoses and went home. The fire was a result of a probable chimney fire which spread through a insert joint crack and caught the wooden stud on fire. This end was lots better than what it could have been. Lately we've been training for structure fires and I'm glad we didn't have to put training to use.
Picture of E-341 and Sq.330 parked in front of the house.
Picture in the attic of Jeremy on the right and Paul's slhouette upper left, as they worked to remove part of the chimney. They finally got to the smoldering stud/insulation and doused and removed them.