Local News

Firefighters Battle Large Grass Fire Near Gorham

Gorham Fire 11-24-17 1Firefighters from Russell, Ellis, Ellsworth and Lincoln Counties battled a large grass fire Friday afternoon near Gorham.

According to Russell County Emergency Manager Keith Haberer, the fire started in eastern Ellis County along the Russell/Ellis County line near Emmeram Road and 400th Ave and, fueled by strong winds, burned southeast toward Old Highway 40, where it was contained after crossing Old 40.

In all, the fire stretched about six miles long and in some places was almost two miles wide.

Old 40 and a few rural roads were closed temporarily because of visibility issues.

No homes were damaged, but a few outbuildings and fence rows were destroyed. Several trees and hay bales are still smoldering.Gorham Fire 11-24-17 2

Many folks living in the area evacuated, but have since returned home.

There were no residents injured, but a couple firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

Haberer said it was an electrical fire started on an oil lease.

Every rural fire department from Russell County responded, as well as units from Victoria, Catharine, Wilson, Holyrood, Ellsworth and Sylvan Grove.

Russell County EMS, the Russell County Sheriff's Office and Kansas Highway Patrol also responded, along with a few farmers and oilfield workers with discs and water trucks.

Gorham Fire 11-24-17 3Haberer thanked everyone who responded, but also stressed if you have no reason to be there, you shouldn't be there. He said the roads were congested in places due to people taking pictures.

Citizens are reminded to stay home and allow firefighters to do their job.

(Photos courtesy Virgil Lawson.)

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