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Large Wildland Fire – Three County Response

October 30, 2012

“I came, I saw, I conquered.” It’s a Latin sentence reportedly written by Julius Caesar in 47 BC as a comment on his short war with Pharnaces II. Firefighters from Stafford, Great Bend, and Ellinwood utilized a version of Caesar’s saying last night – “I saw, I came, I conquered.”

Stafford County firefighter Denny Graves covered the first part of the three part quote. He was driving south on Highway 281 on the Stafford/Barton line early last evening when he noticed a huge column of smoke off to the east. A quick call to Dispatch confirmed this was no controlled burn.

Then came Caesar’s step two – “I came”. Crews from the Seward and Hudson stations were dispatched first. But, before they even arrived it was clear to Command Officer Tom Fisher that more help would be necessary.

Crews from the St. John and Stafford stations were the next ones paged. Yet, that still wasn’t enough. The fire had was in heavy CRP grass and was burning with great intensity. Then, Ellinwood was paged – then Great Bend. Before the night was over the firefight included a total of 30 firefighters in 10 brush trucks and 4 water tenders.

The fire consumed approximately 120 acres and was in close proximity to one home before the “I conquered” final step was attained.

A burned up Chevy flatbed pickup sat in the southwest corner of the fire area. At the time of the fire it was unknown who that pickup belonged to or why it was in the field. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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