Harvey County emergency responders were called into action around 1 p.m. Sunday, battling a large grass fire in the 3800 block of North Sand Hill Road, northeast of Burrton.
"The fire is contained at this time, but we've still got crews out there mopping up and checking hot spots," said Troy Mueller of the Burrton Fire Department, incident commander in the response.
Containment of the fire was accomplished by about 5 p.m. Sunday, Mueller said, and the area was expected to be cleared on Monday.
Several agencies responded to the scene, including fire departments from Burrton, Halstead, Hesston, Newton, Sedgwick, Buhler, Hutchinson and Moundridge. Burrton EMS, Harvey County Communications and the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office were also on scene.
"Once we had enough resources on scene from all the mutual aid departments, we were able to get control of it by using backfiring," Mueller said. "We actually got in front of the fire and lit fire along Sand Hill Road out in front of it to take away the fuel so that the fire couldn't progress any further."
About 300 to 400 acres of land burned in the fire, but no injuries or damage to homes were reported. While several nearby structures were potentially in danger during the fire, all were protected with no damage reported.
Nearby residents were under voluntary evacuations. Sand Hill Road was temporarily closed between Northwest 36th and 60th streets, but has since been reopened.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation by the Burrton Fire Department.
Mueller noted containment was a little more difficult than normal due to current conditions — being so dry, having an extended growing season this year, some of the fields that caught fire having not been grazed off in years, the wind etc.
"With conditions the way they are," Mueller said, "it's real important that we remind folks that if they're going to try to do a controlled burn that they call 911 prior to burning because they'll know then whether the conditions outside are conducive to burning or not. And if they're not conducive to burning, don't burn."