Crews put out large 1,300+ acre MO grass fire

Posted at 12:53 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 07:22:50-05

The Southern Platte Fire Department and the Kansas City Fire Department units were called to a large grass fire on 92 Highway and Centennial Bridge on Thursday.

Previous story: 5 things to know about the Fire Weather Warning

The fire broke out around 10 a.m. in the Leavenworth and Platte County area. Officials said a spark from the Bureau of Prisons lawn mower started the fire. 

In the blaze, a couple of older barns caught on fire, crews said. 

Click here to view photos of the fire.

The South Platte County Fire Department reported at least 1,300 acres have burned. More than 75 firefighters fought the fire.

Firenado! Deputy Chief Dean Cull of the Southern Platte Fire Protection District shot this video from the grass fire in Platte County. We'll have continuing coverage at 4:30, 5 and 6.

Posted by 41 Action News - KSHB-TV on Thursday, February 18, 2016

Firefighters said the windy conditions on Wednesday made the response challenging.

"We tried multiple times to do some fire stops and work the fire lines," said South Platte firefighter Brian Richardson. "As soon as it would go down, it would jump up behind you."

The wind blew around smoke and debris, which presented even more challenges.

"With the wind, the way it was blowing, it was really tough to breathe at times," Richardson said.

Crews worked to prevent the fire from reaching the town of Beverly. Platte County deputies evacuated Woods Oil, a gas station on Highway 92, across the street from the massive fire. 

"We could see a lot of flames," explained Cynthia Cunningham, who works at the store. "We saw some deer running for cover."

Cunningham said she was able to return to the convenience store about 90 minutes after she was evacuated from the area.

Fire crews also warned a homeowner down the road from Western Oil Co. about a possible evacuation.

"A deputy sheriff was at the door. He told us about the fire. He said there was a possibility that we would have to move out," explained Harry Schimmel, who lives at the home that was warned of the fire. "I was trying to think about where I'd go."

Crews also mowed the land and cut brush to help reduce the fire danger in the area. They said the fire was 75 percent contained at about 4:45 p.m. and was finally fully contained before 6 p.m.



The National Weather Service upgraded the Fire Weather Watch to a Fire Weather Warning. The warning was in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service of Kansas City is prompting the area to avoid burning and dispose cigarette butts properly. 

NWS Kansas City tweeted a photo from their radar that showed the smoke from the grass fire. 


Follow 41 Action News on Twitter

Like 41 Action News on Facebook