NFD responds to another grass fire near the border; Arson suspected

March 26, 2020 | Headlines

NEWKIRK — Tonight Newkirk fire units responded to the third grass fire in four weeks near the Oklahoma-Kansas border.

NFD fire chief Adam Longcrier said fire units responded to old Highway 77 north of Judo Road at 6:20 p.m. and found a grass fire burning on both sides of the old highway up to the state line.

“We had to contact Burlington Northern Santa Fe and asked them to stop the trains because the fire was trying to jump the track and go east. We were also on the tracks fighting the flames.”

He said Kildare fire units were called to assist as the fire was spreading quickly. “While we were there, River Road Fire and Dale Township fire units responded to fires reported at Traders Bend Road and Earth Road.”

Longcrier said it took crews just over two hours to extinguish the blaze near the border.

“It was muddy from the rain and we were slow moving and we had a truck get stuck. I still believe we have an arsonist and I’m asking again for citizens to report any suspicious activity in the area.”

He said no structures were threatened tonight but that fire trucks and firefighters are being put in danger.

“We are having close calls,” he said. “These fires are starting at or near the state line. Then other fires pop up in the area of Prentice and Trader Bend Roads. These are likely distractions. We know where the fires are starting but not sure what is being used to start them. I believe the arsonist could be watching when we respond.”

Longcrier said 10-15 acres were burned and crews were on scene for over two hours.

Anyone with information on these fires are encouraged to call the Kay County Sheriff’s Department at 580-362-3250.

See related story here.