Rural firefighters converged on a rural location about seven miles east of Junction City Friday afternoon to battle a fast-moving fire that covered rural open land.
No one was injured and no structures were damaged.
Geary County Rural Fire Chief Garry Berges estimated that approximately 1,000 acres of grassland burned in the blaze which covered portions of Geary and Riley counties. Berges said firefighters got the call to respond to the Interstate 70 location where the blaze began near mile post 305 about 3:30 to 3:45 p.m. “Looks like somebody driving along probably discarded some smoking material out. It just started roaring straight north, all open ground aided by the wind. My first fire truck on scene said he was doing 35 mph across country and couldn’t keep up where the fire was.”
Berges noted Geary County Rural Fire responded with eight trucks, Riley County had eight or nine, the Fort Riley Fire Department two trucks and the Kansas Forestry Task Force based in Manhattan provided two trucks and a supervisor vehicle. Additional assistance came from the Grandview Plaza Fire Department and numerous farm producers who provided water to help battle the blaze.
Earlier about 10:30 Friday morning Geary County rural firefighters also responded to a small blaze near I-70 milepost 309 in the eastern part of the county where an estimated two to three acres burned. No one was injured there. Berges confirmed that blaze was put out quickly.