Fire torches 60 acres

Chad Frey
FIre damaged about 60 acres of land between Halstead and Burrton on Thursday.

Emergency responders from multiple counties fought a wildfire around N.W. 12th Street and N. River Park Road of Harvey County on Thursday.

When the smoke cleared, about 60 acres had gone up in smoke.

According to Halstead Fire Chief Jim VanSchaik, heat was an issue as crews worked to get the fire under control.

“The heat was a factor. That is why we called for another task force from Reno County to give people a break,” VanSchaik said.

According to Harvey County Communications, the fire was initially reported at about 1 p.m. VanSchaik said the all clear was issued and crews released at about 7:30 p.m.

Damage was limited to one vehicle, a utility trailer and vegetation across 60 acres of ground. There were no injuries reported.

“If we would have wind yesterday, this would have been a catastrophe,” VanSchaik said.

Dry conditions were attributed to the fire spread. According to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hale and Snow Network, only about one-third of an inch of rain has fallen in the area of the fire this month.

“Until we get some rain, you don’t think it is going to burn because it is green, but it does,” VanSchaik said.

Responding fire departments included Buhler, Burrton, Halstead, Hesston, Moundridge, Newton and Sedgwick. The wildland task force from Reno County also responded. Harvey County Communications, Harvey County Emergency Management, Harvey County Parks and Harvey County Sheriff's Office also were on scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.