Stubble Fire North of Hoisington 7-1-17

A vehicle traveling on US Highway 281 passes behind a truck from the Hoisington Fire Department spraying a hot spot in the ditch. Members of the Olmitz, Hoisington, and Galatia Fire Departments respond to a controlled burn that got out of control two miles north of the junction of Kansas Highway 4 and US Highway 281 near Hoisington, Kansas on July 1, 2017. (Photo: Joey Bahr,

On a nice Saturday afternoon, I was mowing my lawn when I looked north and noticed what looked like a rising column of smoke. By then wind had picked up from the south and I knew if that was a fire, it would spread quickly.

I decided to stop mowing, grab my cameras and head north. I figured I would not need to travel far to find the fire given how large the smoke plume looked. I calculated wrong. Twenty miles later, I found the fire two miles north of the junction of K-4 Highway and US Highway 281.

The event started as an approved controlled burn. When the farmer who called to get the go ahead began to light the stubble, the wind suddenly picked up and took the fire out of control faster than he could keep up.

Fortunately, he contacted a friend who volunteers with the Olmitz Fire Department and he contacted dispatch to call out other departments to aid. Sheriff deputies and the Kansas Highway Patrol also responded to help with traffic control as the fire came very close to the roadside of a busy highway.

These men and women worked quickly to put out the flames and the hotspots it left.

People from as far away as Great Bend called in the fire because of the size of the cloud.

In the end the fire burned the entire field and small portions of adjoining fields. The important part, no one was harmed in the fire.

Below are some of the pictures I took:

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