Liberal, KS

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Lightning Keeps Panhandle Firefighters Busy

Brock Kappelmann - August 22, 2019 2:06 pm

Lightening Strikes Keep Guymon and Other Firefighters Busy

This week has been extremely busy for Guymon Firefighters and other Firefighters in the area. Two large fires particularly required Firefighters from Texas and Kansas to assist in extinguishing these fires.

The first reported fire started Monday at 5:53pm when the Guymon Fire Department responded east of Guymon on Hwy 412 & Mile 42. This grass fire, which was named the Clawson fire, was started by lightening. “Fire units from Guymon, Optima, Hooker, and Hardesty all responded to this and were actively fighting the fire when the second fire was reported” stated Guymon Interim Fire Chief Grant Wadley.

The second fire started 40 minutes later and it was located ½ mile east of Hitch Ranch headquarters south of Guymon on county road 207. 11 miles southwest from the Clawson Fire. This fire scene was named Hitch HQ fire and would require more Fire unit resources. Several of the units that were on the first fire had to go immediately to the second fire, but there were not enough fire units to handle both these large fires at one time. Guymon Fire Commanders then had to call more Fire units from other communities in Texas County including from Beaver Co. Oklahoma, Seward Co. Kansas, and Hansford Co. Texas to assist. In total 18 Fire Departments were on scene between the 2 fires and worked into the night to control these fires.

At 5:30am Tuesday morning, just hours after the last units finished on these fires, strong winds began to blow and underlying embers started up grass fires again near the same location. Fire units responded back to the Hitch HQ fire first and started again on new grasslands that were burning. Within 3 hours of being there, winds and increasing morning temperatures started the Clawson fire again. “Between the 2 fires and over a 48 period of time, just under 2000 acres were lost in the fire”, Chief Wadley said. Both fires spread in a north/northeast direction coming within 5 miles of each other.

Firefighters were able to save an entire house and homestead that was in the direct line of fire in the Clawson fire. No damage to the house occurred but the fire line did come within 50-100 feet of the home. Texas County District #1, #2, and #3 road maintainers and tankers with all 3 County Commissioners where on scene also aiding in controlling this fire. Guymon Paramedics treated 3 Firefighters at the scene for heat related symptoms. Temperatures reached 108 degrees by 5:00pm Tuesday afternoon with winds blowing 15-25mph. Firefighters and units remained on scene at the Clawson fire till 3:00pm Wednesday afternoon.

Texas County Emergency Management, Guymon Fire Department Rehab unit, and Guymon Fire Department Paramedics were also on scene with drinking water and supplies to aid and care for the Firefighters during the harsh conditions. Many local farmers, ranchers, and landowners also aided in containing this fire that assisted greatly in this situation.

The Guymon Fire Department would like to thank all those involved in so many ways during these large scenes.

Guymon Fire Department


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