January 16,mutual aid to Lincoln county, grass fire, southeast of Westfall----potential big one.

Grassland fire danger was in the extreme category with red flag warnings flying. Extreme starts with a value of 50. The day's value was 111!!! Temps were in the lower 40s with a north wind stady at 30 mph gusting to 45. Humidity was very low. I was babysitting my grand daughter at home when Liz called from Salina stating a neighbor friend called her and said there was a fire southeast of Westfall. Luckily, Meghan showed up at this time to pick up Eisley. I immediatly jumped in my pickup and drove to the area which is around 5 miles northwest of my home. I found lots of smoke coming from a wooded area with lots of tall grass downwind from the fire area. Lincoln county fire trucks were arriving in mass and starting an attack on the north end of the tree area. I ran into the Westfall fire chief and asked him if he needed district 3 to help. He said yes and that Ellsworth/Kanopolis were coming also. I told him to have Lincoln dispatch call Saline county dispatch and tone us out. As I was driving around to the south side of the section we were toned out. I was MAJORLY concerned that the fire would burn out of the woodland into the tall grass and take off, jumping the road and burning 2 more miles to I-70. I called dispatch and said I was on scene and started to direct our responding trucks to my area. Around this time, the fire burned out of the woods and into the tall grass. The Ellsworth fire chief drove up and talked for a moment---he had lots of trucks coming, but they were not on scene yet. We watched as two narrow headfires accelerated towards the road we were on. A couple of Lincoln co. trucks pulled in to attack but it looked like they would be too little too late to keep the fire from jumping the road. The Ellsworth cheif backed his command vehichle towards the eastern headfire and I couldn't figure what he was doing. I then realized that he was trying to block the fire from jumping the road with his Suburban! I backed down and placed my pickup in front of his but offset so he could escape and we kept the fire from rolling over the road and into the next pasture. A Lincoln truck in the north poasture rolled up and raked the area burning with his deck gun preventing any chance the fire would now cross the road. Just west of us, the second headfire rolled up to the road and actually jumped across. A Kanopolis truck drove around us and it's hoseman hit the developing fire on the south side of the road knocking it out, preventing the fire to burn onward for the next mile or two. After that, District 3, Kanopolis, Ellsworth and lincoln trucks arrived and piled on the fire that remained. The Westfall assistant chief detailed District three trucks to put out several trees that were now burning along the road, (as the fire burned higher in the dead trees, the embers could easily blow across the road and start a fire anew). I took the chain saw off of Sq. 340 and cut down several burning trees while hosemen from Sqs. 320, 350, 340, 342, and 360 doused them out. This took about 1 hour. The Wesfall chief came by and said things looked good and released us to go back to our stations. Three days later this fire restarted but Lincoln Co. took care of it on their own. We were extremly lucky to have held this fire to one mile in length. It started from a brush pile that burned out several days before then the 45 mph wind gusts blew embers into unburned area and away it went. About 300 acres burned.

Here was where the first headfire came up to the road. The Ellsworth Chief blocked below the little tree in the fence while I blocked above it preventing the fire from jumping the road and burning on.

Long range picture of where the fire started---just below the house, one mile away.

Picture of the only place the fire jumped the road. Luckily a fire truck was right there and knocked it out before it spread on into the next pasture.

Picture of the tree area that district 3 worked out.

This picture shows where the fire burned out of the tree area into the tall grass and accelerated towards the road. A big factor was the trees blocking the wind/slowing down the fire speed so fire trucks could arrive and start fighting the fire. Without the trees, the fire would have been a "gone Locomotive".

This picture is looking south where the first headfire came up to the road and was blocked by the Ellsworth Chief's and my vehichles. Had it jumped the road, it would have burned up the slight rise and caught the wind and would have taken off. The fire trucks would have never caught up with it until two miles where it would have hit I-70 highway.

January 20, brush pile smoldering by north Hedville road.

Grassland fire danger was in the "very high" category with increasing northwest winds into the evening/night. This call came in around 7:20 pm. I headed east and called in my response to dispatch. Good news was that Brookville reponded with all the station's trucks promply so I could go straight to the scene. Sqs. 350, 320 and 330 arrived before I did and wetted down the smoldering area. The IC turned every one back at this time so I did nothing at this fire.

January 26, the big blow.

Grassland fire index was in the very high category this day. A cold front was scheduled to move through late pm./evening. The computer showed 30 kt. winds behind the front so I thought not much but a wind shift and trend towards colder temps. I was checking cattle when the front hit with a roar. I could barely keep on my feet when I closed the gate. Soon the pager went off for district 6 for 3 different fires in their area. We also heard of a large grass fire west of Ellsworth that Ellsworth and Lincoln co. were fighting. The wind settled to a 35 mph steady state. After conversing on C-phones several of us went to the fire stations and stood by for a couple of hours, but no calls came for us, a good thing.

January 29, three calls in one day.

The first two calls were false alarms due to power outages reoccuring from Sunday's big blow. The last call was interesting. Liz and I were eating in town at around 8:20 in the evening when this call came in. The text stated that a man had ingested phostoxin and the call was dropped. Well, phostoxin is an pellet that releases phosphine gas---a fumigant for grain storage, very lethal. The call was close to my route home so I called in my response after conversing with Rob who was responding in E-321. We got on scene after EMS and deputy's and got the story. The man had worked around a elevator that day and thought he was exposed to the fumigant. He was also probably highly intoxicated on alcohol which was the main problem he had. He was loaded in the EMS wagon and hauled to the hospital, just in case and we were good to go home.

January 30, brush pile smoldering, north Hedville Rd.

Grassland fire index was in the very high category again, with north winds gusting to 25 mph. This call came in around 1:30 in the morning. We had been called here before---a few days ago. I got up and waited a bit and heard Hedville trucks turn around everyone else so I went back to bed.

Feb. 1, pickup fire in a garage, north Brookville Rd..

Liz and I were traveling to Salina to eat out around 7 pm. when this call came in. We immediately turned around and responded. The fire was a half mile south of the Glendale station. Sq. 350 responded quickly and reported flames visible in the garage. Jeremy pulled into the scene just before Liz and I did. By then, Sq. 350 had knocked most of the flames down but there was a lot of smoke and steam coming out of the door of the garage. While I was gearing up, Jeremy hooked a tow rope to the smoldering pickup in the garage and pulled it out with his pickup. We then popped the hood up with a halogen bar and finished dousing the fire. E-341, E-321, Sq. 320, E-361 and T351 arrived, a good response on a Saturday night. Chief Abker gave me a heat detector and I checked all angles of the garage---it was all good. We picked up our equipment and left the scene. The home owners were working on the truck with space heaters blowing. While trying to start the truck, gas squirted out of a line and was ignited by the space heater. The quick hit from Sq. 350 kept the fire from involving the detached garage.

Picture Jeremy took of the detached garage and the truck, after it was pulled out.

Picture of the pickup after the fire was out. The quick response from the close station minimized the total damage.

Feb. 16, A house and a garage/barn.

Liz and I went to the storm chasers convention in Denver. While we were gone over the weekend all heck breaks loose with these calls. Jeremy responded to both calls. The house in Brookville was severely damaged by heat and water and started in a utility room. The other call at Muir and old highway 40 started from a wood stove in a garage and spread to a barn. The guys were able to save the barn pretty well and some of the garage. Hated to miss all this but it sounded like there was plenty of help.

Jeremy's cell picture of the house fire in Brookville after the initial knockdown was made.

February 22, 2 grassfire calls in the afternoon.

Grassland fire index was in the "moderate" category today with northeast winds around 15 mph. Jeremy and I were a long ways out in pastures working when the first call came in, a controlled burn now out of control. It took us a while to make it home so we could respond. Initially, we headed for Brookville to get extra trucks when on scene commander called in that only a couple of squads were needed. Sq. 350 was en route with one on board so we went direct to the scene. The fire was under control by the time we got there so I snapped a couple pictures and talked with chief 301. We picked up firefighter Adam K. and was taking him back to his car at the Hedville station when our pager tone went off again for a fire in a yard burning towards a house on Hedville Rd. across from the Rolling hills zoo. This scene was 2 miles from the Hedville station and we could see smoke from there. Adam, Jeremy and I got on scene quickly after missing the driveway the first time we drove past ddue to trees masking the smoke from the road. There were many trucks heading our way. We found the homeowner had a lot of the fire knocked out by garden hose, so I turned all responding units around except Sq. 350. Adam and Jeremy climbed on 350 and they quickly extinguished the remaining fire burning the lawn. I then conferred with the landowner and the Sherriff's deputy, released Sq. 350 and terminated the incident. We drove back to the first fire scene and gave fire info to Chief 301 and went home.

By the time we got to the first fire, Sqs. 320 and 340 had knocked all fire down except the tree pile that started it.

The fire almost burned into a row of bales making for some fast action by the squads on scene.

Source of the fire was the landowner burning tree piles with the wind blowing embers into the grass. It seems that a lot of our calls come from this scenario. Chief 301 had a back fire burned to the back of the tree pile so no repeat fire could result.

Picture of Adam and Jeremy riding Sq. 350 at the second fire. They mopped this fire out very quickly due to the short lawn grass. This fire too, started from a small trash fire that the wind caught just right.

March 10, woodshop fire on Muir Road.

Grassland fire index was in the low end of "high" category. Temps were in the 70s with light winds---a beautiful day. It seemed lots of people were out burning----and loosing control of their burns. I listened on the pager as districts 1,2,6 and 5 battled out of control fires. Then around 4:30 our tone came across the pager for this call. I drove home and responded to Brookville where I took T-342 to the scene. When I got there, the fire was knocked down and overhaul was beginning. I refilled Hedvill's E-321/361 which was empty from the fire fight. I left and refilled at the station and returned and topped off E-321 and 361. After that I was released and went back to Brookville and refilled 342 and went home. This fire started from a small trash fire spreading to short lawn grass which spread to the wood shed. Lots of wood working equipment was destroyed as well as the entire shed.

Picture of the woodshop around the time I arrived. Overhaul time. Picture by Jed Burr.

Picture of the engines that fought the fire, 341 and 321 with 361 assisting 321. I refilled 321/361 twice. Picture by Jed.

March 15, controlled burn out of control on Water Well Rd. grass fire.

Grassland fire index was in the "Very High" category this day. I listened on the scanner as I was feeding cattle in the morning, while distrcts 1 & 7 were working fires. Just before noon, I had roped a cow in the pasture and was milking her in a bottle when this call came in. Due to this, it took a while before I could respond to Brookville. I took T-342 but was turned around a mile from the scene as Sqds. 340 & 330 made quick hits on this fire. The land owners were burning short grass around their house when a errant gust of wind took their fire out of control. Around an acre or two burned.

April 3, attic fire at 6000 west Humbarger Rd.

I was watching severe storms on the computer when this call came in at around 3:15 pm. I responded to Brookville and called Jeremy trying to find out where the fire was. Dave called from Salina saying he was coming. I arrived at the Brookville station, geared up and pulled E-341 out of the station. Dave arrived at this time and jumped in and we took off. It still amazes me how many people will not yield to lights and siren on a highway. Truckers are very bad about this. We arrived late as the location given over the air was mistaken and we took a wrong turn. We helped with overhaul as the fire was already knocked down. The fire started either by a wood stove overheat or electrical lines shorting under the wood stove duct work in the attic. One of the homeowners came home to find smoke pouring out of every duct and cranny in the roof area. The home owner ripped the duct work out of the side of the attic and a hose off of E-321 was used to spray into the attic making some knockdown. As more firefighters arrived, they packed up and entered the attic and knocked down the rest of the fire. A vent fan was used to disperse smoke before overhaul began. This was about the time Dave and I arrived to help.

E-321 was first on scene and did the knockdown of the fire.

Picture of the wood stove and the hole where the vent entered the attic. Probably wood stove vent heat + electrical wire in close proximity started the fire in the attic. There was extensive smoke, heat and water damage.

April 4, grass fire, I-70, mile marker 246.

Grassland fire index was in the moderate category today. This call came in around 3 pm. I responded down I-70 from my exit as well as Sq. 320 and 340. No fire was found.

April 11, one vehicle wreck, highway 40 one mile west of Brookville.

In the morning, before this call, I received a call from Smoky Hill Air Guard folks who wanted chief Abker's phone number. A farmer had found an unignited flare from a Air Force plane and they were going to destroy it. This was done successfully so district three was not needed. I was fixing fence in the afternoon when this call came in. It sounded bad with entrapment and possible helicopter transport. I responded to the scene and volunteered to create a landing zone for the oncoming helo. I picked my spot and was beginning to mark it with cones when dispatch called and said the helicopter could not find it's way through the smoke and canceled !!??. I went back to the wreck and the subject was transported by EMS to Salina. We then cut dead tree branches away from the car so the wrecker could load it easier then I went back home. The driver, who might have been impaired, was west bound and went into the south ditch, then across a driveway, then between two trees crashing into a dead tree who's branches fell all over the car. It had to have been quite a ride. The driver was probably not belted up, sustained the usual non seat belt injuries---specifically a smash to the head and chest.

Picture of the drivers seat, the seat cover covered the seat belt area so the driver probably was not restrained.

April 19, grass fire off of north Reese Rd. Maybe the big one.

Grassland fire index was in the very high category with temps in the high 70s and south winds up to 30 mph. We were working cattle and I was hauling a load to a pasture when this call came in. Evidently, kids at the resident decided to shoot a fire works helicopter but the wind took it into the lawn starting the fire. The only good thing about this was they were north of their house so the fire burned away from the house. It burned through a large shelter belt then into a grass medow, then into some no-till farm ground with dead material which also carried the fire. The scene was about 6 miles from where I was hauling and I saw the gray grass smoke turn black when it burned through the cedar/deciduous shelter belt. I dumped my cattle and returned to the corall and took my pickup to Brookville station. I took T-342 to the fire and we doused burning trees in the shelter belt for a couple of hours. The fire was so hot, and it is so dry that even the broad leafed trees that were green burned with some trees bark shredded from the tree trunk by the heat. The land owner brought a dozer and pushed the smoldering trees away from the unburned areas making it easier for us at district 3 to manage overhaul. District 7 was called for mutual aid because of the magnitude of the fire and they were very good help. Hopefully, this will be the "big one" for this spring but we need rain badly.

Our first job was to put out a stack of burning fire wood.

Here was where one of the places the fire burned through the shelter belt, killing all trees. Shane is beginning overhaul of the smoldering trees.

Any tree with a knot or hollow like this one had fire in it.

Every branch and burning tree had to be sprayed with water.

Picture of the next area the fire burned through the shelter belt. This was our next job.

The farmer pushing burned trees into a pile where he covered them with soil.

Picture of Jace and Dave while we were waiting for a refill fgrom the tanker.

A self portrait shot at T-342's mirror while waiting for water refill. My face shows the hot dirty work we've been doing.

April 21, The big one!

Grass land fire index was in the very high category today with temps in the upper 70s and wind out of the north up to 25-30. Around 3 pm, chief Abker called my cell wondering about smoke he could see. I walked out beyond the house and saw a large smoke plume in the Westfall area in Lincoln county. I called some of our firefighters about this fire so to be ready. I drove towards the Westfall fire when we were toned out for multiple fires started by a train at Watkins and McGavern Roads. Looking northeast I saw large smoke plumes and knew there was a lot of tall grass in that area. I turned around, picked up Liz and we headed to Brookville as my previous calls indicated most of the Brookville guys were in Salina. Jeremy went to the fire because Sq. 350 had no hoseman. At Brookville, Tate and Lane were at the station so I had Liz and Lane take Sq. 340, Tate took E-341 and I took T-342. We fought this fire until sunset before getting it under control with help from fire trucks from all over central Kansas---as far as Minneapolis. There was several nasty wrecks on I-70 due to smoke but for the most part, I-70 stopped the fire. Ranchers scrambled and saved all cattle in the path---an incredible feat. Around 3.5 square miles burned in just over 2 hours. This is the big one. I'll post some pics later. PS. The grass was tall in lots of areas so it was hard to keep the fire line out as relights happened behind fire trucks. It wasn't until lots of trucks arrived from many fire districts that we could stack like 3 trucks in a row and keep the fire line out. Here was a list of fire trucks that I saw. Lincoln county came with all their trucks after they got their fire out which the train started: Westfall, Denmark, Sylvan, Barnard, Beverly and Lincoln. Saline county districts: 7, 6, 5, and maybe district 2. Others were Ellsworth, Kanopolis, Tescott and Mineapolis. There were probably other fire districts but these were the ones I saw or heard. Liz had her camera but it was so crazy and active she didn't get big action pictures. I will post some pics she did take below. April 22, I saw that the fire crossed I-70 in at least two places. Also the wrecks-- especially one semi running into the other was spectacular! How the one driver was alive after having his cab sheared over is beyond me.

Picture of smoke from one of the fires started by the train. There were multiple fires started and they all merged before fire trucks got on scene creating one big fire.

Picture of me on T-342 as we were refilling with water. I was driver and Shane was hoseman during the fight except one run where chief Mark drove and Shane and I ran hoses.

Picture of the water refill staging area---a hectic place as trucks came in continuously to refill.

Picture of the vast expance of burned off grass.

Picture of a large Lincoln truck pouring a vast amount of water on a tree pile that was close to unburned grass.

Picture of Tate. He was "designated" incident commander, an extremely difficult job with a large fast moving fire with many different districts to control.

Picture of Jeremy on Sq. 350 as they came in for refill. Sq. 350 was first on scene and had a long day.

Picture of fire truck coming in at sunset. The fire is finally out.

April 23, DOUBLE TROUBLE.

Grassland fire danger index was in the very high to low end extreme category this day. Winds were southwest gusting to 30, with temps in the low 80s. I was taking Liz to Salina to get her bus from the shop around 2:45 pm. when district 7 was toned for a pasture fire. They called district 5 for mutual aid almost immediately. I listened on my pager as they battled the fire while I dropped Liz off and did some banking. Then I heard chief Abker helping with the command situation. They were having the same problems we had 2 days earlier---relights behind fire trucks. District 3 was paged for mutual aid so I went to Brookville and took T-342 to the scene. I picked up Shane at Bavaria and we went to the fire north of Salina. By then, almost a complete knock down had been achieved so it was a long overhaul job for all involved. The pasture was full of hedge trees and piles of cut cedars making for difficult overhaul actions. I was finally released to go back to Brookville at around 9:15. This fire burned a path almost 2 miles long and up to one half mile wide. Thunderstorms to our south created 50 mph south winds as I drove back to the station. I got home, ate some supper and was readying for a bath when the pager tones us out for a fire in the Glendale area. Jeremy and I responded in our pickups and joined Sq. 350 by the old fire area where some trees were smoldering due to the high winds. My C-phone rang---it was Dave driving from Salina to the call. He said he could see a big fire north of the Hedville exit I-70. I reported this over the radio as Dave didn't have a portable radio with him. Jeremy and I scrambled east down Watkins Rd. to Hedville Rd. and couldn't see any glow in the darkness. Dave called again and said the fire was east of Hedville Rd. We crossed that road and still didn't any glow or fire. We drove another mile east and I began to smell smoke but still could see any fire. I circled east around the section while Jeremy drove south through a pasture. Soon Jeremy called on the radio that he saw fire to his south so I circled back to his area. Then I could see a fire glow to my south. I drove through the pasture, opened a gate and made it to a farm stead. There was fire in the pasture and corral area just to the west of the house spreading north rapidly. I called this in over the radio and trucks began to arrive at the fire. I got on Sq. 360, the first truck to arrive and we went on the attack. We knocked out most of the south part of the fire then ran out of water. After a quick refill off of T-331, we helped other trucks finish off the rapidly spreading head fire. The fire burned through several fences and tree rows which made navigation and fire attack difficult. On our second refill with water I was gassed so went back to my truck and got home around 2:30 am.

Jeremy's picture taken off his video,(not real clear) shows the late night fire taking off in taller grass. This was what we faced on Sq. 360---numerous trees, fences and rocks as we knocked down this fire.

May 7, two spot fires highway 40 and Hedville Rd., on the RR right a way.

Grassland fire index was extreme with red flags a-flying. This call came in around 1:30 pm. I drove to Brookville listening to the firefighters speculating a train starting the fires. The train was stopped and I was detailed to scout out where the train stopped and if any additional fires were started. I talked to the train engineer as well as the conductor who walked the length of the train looking for problems. The train stopped one mile west of Brookville. Sqs. 340 & 360 put out the fires and the train men found nothing wrong. After that all was good to go and I went home.

July 6, two vehicle wreck on I-70 mile 239.

We've had lots of med calls and a few wrecks, most on the far side of our district, and no fire calls except a couple that I couldn't respond to. Liz responded to the call where a car rear ended another and spun it into the ditch. Minor injuries were all that resulted from this wreck.

July 21, bale fire west Crawford St. Rd.

I was baling alfalfa when we got this call. Jeremy picked me up and we went home to get my truck and gear. I called in our response to dispatch and Shane called from Salina asking us to take 341 and 342 to the scene. A farmer piled big bales into a U and filled the center with ground hay. The hay self started the fire and spread over all the bales/ground hay. E-321 arrived first and knocked the fire into a smoldering condition. Jeremy serviced water to E-321 with 342, while I parked E-341 east of the fire scene. A conference was held with the farmer then the farmers started to move the smoldering hay out into a tilled field as there were other bales/buildings near the fire scene. We kept any fire down as they moved the hay then went back to the stations. The temp was 96 and dew point of 68 making a very hot task.

picture of 321&342 on the north side of the fire.

Picture of the fire scene taken from the west as we were planning strategy on how to move the burning hay away from buildings and other hay.

Picture of the farmer moving hay away from the smoldering pile.

Picture of the scene from 1/2 mile away as I was taking 342 to get more water.

Sept. 5, roof fire at Smoky Hill Bomb Range.

This call came in mid afternoon. It stated fire in the roof of Operations building where the bombing flights are controlled. I was concerned because the Ops building was large. I heard Shane and Dave take E-341 & T-342 from Brookville so went on to the incident. They got to the scene but said nothing as they were getting set up for the attack. I arrived next, finding Shane and Dave atop of a large utility structure trying to get to the fire. I gave a quick size up to dispatch then a further size up to Chief Abker who was coming with E-321. I finished gearing up then traded with Shane as he had no gear on. Using a ax, with Dave's help, I chopped a hole big enough around the chimney through the tin roof and doused the burning insolation. After that, I was pretty gassed so traded with Kody and Rob and they, with Dave did the overhaul and that was it. The fire started from the diesel generator that was running in the building providing electricity to the Ops building and control tower. The exhaust pipe heated enough that the insolation burned/smoldered between the tin roof and tin ceiling.

Picture of chief Abker watching Dave, Kody and Rob finish overhaul on top of the generator building.

Oct.2, trailer fire I-70 east bound marker 244.

I was writing a check for supplies at Tractor Supply around 7 pm when this call came in. Call stated fully involved trailer. I told the check out person to hold my cattle panels as I didn't want them sticking out on interstate 70. I geared up in the parking lot and called in my response. Jeremy called my cell and said he was responding too. As I approached the 244 area I could not see any smoke. Then dispatch called and said the semi driver put out the fire. Sq. 320 arrived and I asked them if they needed me and they said they had to cool the trailer brakes and didn't need me. I was able to drive back to TSC and pick up my panels before they closed at 8 pm.

October 15, semi trailer brakes over heated.

A little over a week ago we had a similar call as we did at 2 am last night. I responded to both incidents because it could be a cool down of tires/rims/axels, or a full blown trailer van fire. Both times it was a cool down although last week there were flames that the driver put out with his portable extinguisher. Last night was a good response as 320, 350 321 and 341 responded.

Oct. 24, hay bale on truck fire I-70 marker 249.

I was beginning to haul some heifers in a trailer when this call came in, hay bales on fire in the back of a truck. I was thinking big bales so chances of a larger fire. I went home and swiched trucks and called in my response to dispatch. I heard 341 leave Brookville so I turned towards I-70 to go direct to the fire. Hearing no other trucks responding I called Chief 301 if I should bring Sq. 350 from Glendale. He said yes so I responded with it to the fire. Turned out that the bales were little rectangle ones that the driver kicked out of the back of his pickup. Although law enforcement was on hand and a steady flow of info was put out by dispatch we responders didn't know we were dealing with a small fire. I got on scene and spotted traffic while Dave and Mike washed the smoldering hay off the highway, then we all went home.

Nov. 1, grass fire, 6000 west Watkins Rd.

Grass land fire index was in the low "high" category with temps around 55 with winds south gusting to 25 mph. I was searching for some cattle in Saline county around 11:15 am. The page called a small grass fire started by a chop saw. Chief Abker & family was close to the Hedville station and they responded with two squads, (360 & 320). I was thinking I was a long way from home and my "gear" pickup and it was a small fire??? Squad 360 got on scene and called a medium sized fire rapidly spreading in tall grass. I picked up speed as I headed for home and talked with Jeremy and Jed on the phone. Jeremy was waiting when I got home and we responded immediately. En route, we heard the Hedville squads nearly had the fire knocked down but was running out of water---a lonely feeling. Then sq. 350, and 340 arrived, as well as T-351 taking up the fight. We arrived and I drove to sq. 340 so Jeremy could climb on. He was wearing a Go-Pro camera and wanted to try it out fire fighting. Soon, the fire was knocked out as Jed arrived with T-342. Jed and I helped with refilling squads and we all went home around 1 pm. Jeremy's video was "jerky", but cool to watch. When we figure how to isolate stills from his video I'll post a picture or two. Grass fire season is here.

Picture off of Jeremy's go camera movie. We were driving up to join up with Sq. 340 which is in the background of this picture. Sq. 320 or 360 is the closest. The fire was pretty well contained by this time.

November 10, car fire Highway 40 mile marker 17.

Grassland fire index was in the "high" category today. This call came in around noon, just as Jeremy and I got home from Ellsworth. Jeremy had commitments so I responded to Brookville. I was not sure where marker 17 was so I asked chief Abker if he knew. (Jeremy's phone app. had it east of Brookville but it turned out to be west of Brookville) Dave left the Brookville station with E-341 so I drove straight to the scene. I could see smoke from several miles away. Dave arrived and called car fully involved. A deputy arrived next then I called on scene. Dave was geared and ready so I donned my gear and had him pull the 11/2" line off the front and I charged the line. I jumped off 341 and helped pull the hose so Dave could work closer to the fire. There was something made of magnesium just right of the steering wheel which made a 4th of July pyro. every time Dave hit it with a direct hose stream. I told him to try a fog stream and this helped matters. Kody T. arrived and after he geared up I had him back Dave. I then pulled the booster line and put out a spreading grass/leaf fire south of the burning car. (The wind was increasing out of the north). At this time E-321, Sq. 340 and Sq. 330 arrived which was good as I knew E-341 was about out of water. The guys popped the hood and trunk and cooled down the remains of the car. We then stacked hoses and went home. The car driver said he smelled hot plastic smell and pulled off the highway and stopped. He popped the hood and the engine area went whoosh with fire. After calling 911, the fire had already spread into the inside of the car.

The fire is under control as Dave, Kody and Shane continue to cool the engine area. The red hose line is the booster line I used on the grass/leaf fire in the trees. E-341 is in the foreground while E-321 is in the background.

November 28, grass fire/mutual aid in Ellsworth county, highway 14 and ave. A.

Grass land fire index was in the "high" category today with temps around 70 and southwest winds gusting to 20 mph. Liz and I were shopping in Salina with our grand daughter at 3:17 pm. The text of the call was somewhat confusing on the location, as the location given was way out of our area of responsibility. Usually mutual aid is mentioned, but not this time. I was thinking that dispatch was giving a wrong address. I called Jeremy as we drove to Brookville station and he said he could see smoke distant northwest. This cleared up the location for me. I listened to district 3's response as we cleared Salina, then I could see smoke that was 20 miles away! Rod and Loren took sq. 340 from Brookville so I took E-341 for water support. I got on scene about the time our squads were running out of water. Chief 301 was trying to talk me closer to the squads on talk-a-round channel and was breaking up as coms were line of sight. I had dry squads heading for me so I got out and prepared a fill hose and jumped back in to start the pump. Chief 301 was still talking to me and being old and half senile I missed starting the pump drive and couldn't fill anyone for a while. There was a pipe drain plug that was opened and that added to the confusion. I went through the pumping procedure again and STILL missed starting the drive. The third time through with Chief 301 on hand I finally realized what I forgot and got things going. I filled Kanopolis and district 3 squads until I emptied the water tank. At that time we were released to go home by Ellsworth command. As I left, I saw a skid steer with a cutting torch parked along the road where the fire began. I don't know if that was the cause of the fire or not. The fire burned more than a mile long and around one quarter mile wide.

Picture looking north northeast of the east fire line. The fire burned more than a mile.

Between filling squads, I snapped this picture of Jase texting on his phone while we waited for the next truck to fill.

Long range picture of the forward staging/refill area that Chief 301 wanted us to get to. E-341 and T-331 staged at the back of the fire.