Grass Fire Burns Nearly 200 Acres - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Grass Fire Burns Nearly 200 Acres

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Franque Thompson

PONCA HILLS (KPTM)- It was a close call for one homeowner after a grass fire got out of control and burned nearly 200 acres of his land. It happened around 3pm Sunday.  A massive response team was able to maintain the fire to the land.

"Just getting ready to go to a family get together and the sheriff knocked on the door and said the field behind the house was on fire," words homeowner Nick Brown was not expecting to hear on Easter.

Four different fire departments rushed through Brown's driveway—battling the wind to tackle a fire that turned his back yard into a burnt eye sore.

"Walked out there and saw about 30 acres a blaze," he said.

Fire fighters drove their trucks deep into the trees--to put out a burn pit they say was left smoldering over night.  Sunday's high winds caused the fire to spread quickly.

"We recommend anything less than 15 miles an hour for any weed fires, any open burn, anything that you got.  Minimum 15 miles an hour," said Chief Pat Barnes of the Fort Calhoun Fire Department.

When putting out a burn pit, the fire department recommends that you have an extinguisher and a rake at hand. Using the rake, sift through the debris to make sure there are no more burning pieces remaining.

"Some of them flames were pretty tall in some of the areas.  So we always want to maintain safety," said Barnes.

Brown said the fire department believes the flame did not start on his property.  He said this is not the first time rescue squads saved his land.

"We had a fire out here last year, it happens, you know?  We live out in the country that's what happens out here," said Brown.

Despite his charred back yard brown says he's thankful the crews kept his family safe—because it allowed them to celebrate their Easter how they originally planned.

No one was injured in the fire.  Brown's home and surrounding buildings were also kept safe.  The Fort Calhoun fire department said the fire is still under investigation.

 franque_thompson@kptm.com

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