Farmers take a hit after several miles of fields burn in fire

Local

RAWLINS COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A fire that stretched seven miles long and half a mile wide struck Rawlins County Monday, and it took out several farm fields in its way.

“Came down, just in time to see the fire across the road onto our property,” said farmer and rancher Tim Rippe. 

It started as a small farming fire, and with 50 mph winds, it picked up the flames and moved fast.

“We lost probably 50 feed bales, couple hundred acres of grass, uh, several miles of fence,” said Rippe.

Farmers lost their crops, and Rippe said next year is going to be tough to get high-quality crops.

“Those fields are going to blow all winter long, and they just won’t have the cover to retain the moisture,” he said.

Officials said the fire scorched a railroad bridge, road bridge, burned some animals and ruined dozens of good fields, but they said they are thankful for those who helped keep the fire from causing even more damage.

“There was, I believe, seven different fire departments from the state of Kansas and five from Nebraska. We did a great job working together,” said McDonald Fire Department Co-chief Andrew Marshall.

With the fire contained, the cleanup begins and it’s a process that will take some time.

“It’s definitely going to be a lengthy ordeal,” said Rippe.

Officials say they’re still working to put out the rest of the hot spots and as for farmers, they say they still have a lot of work ahead but are lucky it wasn’t worse. 

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