Grass fires in Quay and Harding counties char over 5,000 acres

Thomas Garcia

More than 5,000 acres of grassland have burned in three days from multiple fires in Quay and Harding counties.

Eleven fire agencies responded to five fires ignited by lightning in Harding County, said Logan Fire Chief Rex Stall.

“The different crews did an outstanding job of containing and putting out the fires,” Stall said “Over 3,000 acres of grassland burned during Wednesday’s fire.”

On Monday more than 2,000 acres of grassland were burned from two separate fires near San Jon. Several agencies including Logan responded to the fires.

About 500 acres burned Monday morning in a fire near the Anniston Cemetery on Highway 469, Quay County Fire Marshall Donald Adams said.

A second and larger fire, more than 1,800 acres, threatened several homes in the San Jon area on Monday afternoon. That fire was sparked when a car traveling west on Interstate 40 caught fire and pulled over onto the emergency lane.

Stall said that the Logan Fire Department received the first fire call at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

It took multiple fire crews 10 hours to get all the fires under control and extinguished because of their remote locations.

“The fires were in the sandhills which made getting to them a little difficult,” Stall said. “At times we were driving two miles cross country to get to the fire.”

Stall said they would like to have had more assistance, but “other departments were responding to smaller fires that we were unaware of at the time,” Stall said.

The fires were spread across properties owned by four different landowners properties, Stall said.

No structures were lost in the fire and none were in immediate danger Stall said.

No residents or firefighters were injured, he said.

The combination of low humidity, winds and a high fuel source have prompted state officials to issue Red Flag fire warnings for much of the state.

Because of the Red Flag warning, the Logan Fire Department is working to get two fire trucks damaged during Wednesday night’s fire back in service.

“We had three trucks down as a result of fighting the fire,” Stall said. “We worked on one last night and got it going and have parts coming in today to repair the other units.”

Stall said with the high fire danger it is a top priority to get the trucks back into working order.

“I am sure that we will see more fires with the dry conditions being what they are,” Stall said. “We need to be prepared and ready to respond when a fire is reported.”