By SUSAN THACKER
STAFFORD COUNTY — Fire departments from several communities responded as a large fire in northeast Stafford County scorched private property and spread into southeast Barton County, Tuesday afternoon and evening. The fire was reported at 12:06 p.m. Tuesday at NE 190th Street and NE 140th Ave. and spread to the north and west.
Bill Waln from the Fire Management Office at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge said the fire did not encroach on the refuge’s land, but Quivira provided two fire engines for mutual aid to Stafford County at approximately 12:20 p.m.
Tom Fischer, Stafford County fire department district chief, reports the fire was ignited from a controlled burn that apparently had not been called in to Stafford County fire officials. Fischer said 2,917 acres were burned.
“Damage was to electrical structures in the area of the fire,” Fischer said. “No damage was reported to residential properties.”
Waln said responders kept the fire from spreading into the wildlife refuge and away from structures. They were at the scene until 11 p.m. Tuesday and were back “mopping up and checking for hot spots” Wednesday morning.
Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano went to the scene and his department sent a brush truck to North 140 Ave. and NE 190th St. in Stafford County at 3:30 p.m. Claflin and Ellinwood were other Barton County fire departments that sent mutual aid, he said.
Fischer said Rice County firefighters assisted and the Great Bend Co-op provided a fuel truck for on-scene trucks and equipment. Several volunteers prepared and provided meals to firefighters on the scene. Fischer said the fire is still under investigation by the Stafford County fire department.