Fire quickly spreads across Free Soil Twp. field

July 16, 2012

Story & Photos by Rob Alway, Editor

FREE SOIL TWP. – Extremely dry conditions caused a field fire Monday afternoon which could have been a lot worse. The fire started when farm equipment owned by Stakenas Farms caused a spark on a rock, according to Chris Jeffries, Fountain Area Fire Dept. Assistant Chief. Dry conditions and a southerly wind caused the fire to spread quickly across a field into tall grass, eventually burning a wood shed.

“It could have been a lot worse,” said Fountain Area Fire Chief Roger Berdnt. “This is an example of good cooperation among departments.”

The scene on Colburn Road east of U.S. 31 was filled with smoke and dust as firefighters and personnel from Stakenas’ worked quickly to extinguish the fire. Firefighters from Fountain, Free Soil-Meade, Grant and Custer departments responded.

The fire was stopped before it did damage to property of John and Sally Gancarz, 331 E. Colburn Road, which contains multiple buildings and the couple’s house.

Custer Fire Chief John Allison credited the departments’ all terrain vehicles for helping the departments work more efficiently.

Fire conditions are very high, Jeffries said. “We want to remind people that under no circumstances they should be burning. This was totally an accident but it’s an example of just how easy a fire can be started right now with the dry conditions.”


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