The Broken Bow Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene of a grass fire Sept. 15, northwest of Broken Bow.
According to Andy Holland of the BBVFD, the department was called at 11:45 a.m. Saturday morning, and responded with three grass rigs, the pumper truck, an ambulance and a tanker, along with 16 fire fighters and three EMTs. Broken Bow also called Callaway, Merna and Anselmo on mutual aid.
The Merna department responded with grass rigs and a tanker, while Callaway and Anselmo each brought tankers to the scene, two miles northwest of Broken Bow on the north side of Highway 2.
The fire burned approximately seven acres and two buildings on property owned by Tom Joyce. One of the buildings housed cars and car parts, while Holland is unsure what was in the other building. Both buildings were a total loss.
Members of the fire department cut through a fence to release two horses, as local good samaritans kept them out of harms way, and even brought in a horse trailer and loaded them up.
The fire is believed to have started in a ditch near the railroad tracks, and while the cause officially remains undetermined, it is suspected a passing train may have initiated a spark. Once lit, the fire spread quickly through the dry grassland.
The Broken Bow Fire Department remained on scene until 5:10 p.m. They have since been called back to the scene twice to put out “hot spots.”
The Broken Bow Fire Department and Broken Bow Rural Fire District reminds the public that outdoor burning is not allowed at this time in Broken Bow and rural areas. This ban includes trash fires, camp fires, trees, fire pits and throwing cigarettes on the ground or out of vehicle windows. A citation could be issued if any of these things are discovered or start a fire.
Holland says that as of Sept. 17, BBFD and BBRFD has responded to 70 fires so far this year, with 24 of those being grass fires.
“We usually average about 8-10 grass fires per year,” says Holland, giving perspective on how critical this year has been.