I took this picture at a field fire we fought back on July 6th. Thought I'd throw this in because starting later this week I'm doing a two part feature article called "Anatomy of a Field Fire", giving an insider look at what goes on when we get a Big One like this. (Well, it's big for us!) I'll repost that feature here after it's run in the newspaper, but meanwhile here's a teaser photo and the original news article on the fire.
Five firefighters were hospitalized after spending Friday afternoon in
triple digit heat, fighting a blaze that burned over a wheat field and
damaged two buildings along CR 600 N, near Sacryder Lake.
Numerous firefighters were treated for heat exposure at the scene of the
fire, which blackened about ten acres near 3388 E 600 N. The incident
began at about 3:53 p.m., and although its cause remains under
investigation, a combine being used in the field at the time could have
caused a spark that started the fire.
Albion and Orange Township
fire trucks were initially dispatched to the call, but when heavy smoke
was seen as far away as Albion, firefighters quickly called for mutual
aid. Six fire departments sent trucks to the scene. Extra manpower had
to be called in because temperatures at the time hovered in the low
100's, quickly sapping the strength of responders wearing protective
Flames leaped several feet in the air in the standing
wheat, while the fire also burned through a drought-dried lawn to
surround a home, pole barn, and an old bus parked on the property.
Radiant heat curled up the home's siding and spread fire into the walls,
forcing firefighters to work fast to keep the two story wood frame home
from erupting into flames.
Minor damage resulted to the house
and outbuilding and to several acres of wheat, in a field reportedly
owned by Richard Bauman. The flames burned around a propane tank and the
bus, but neither seemed to sustain serious damage.
EMS personnel treated several firefighters at the scene for heat
exposure. Five were reportedly taken to Parkview-Noble Hospital for
further treatment: Four for heat exhaustion, and one for a hand injury.
Firefighters set up a folding dump tank, usually used to hold water for
fighting rural structure fires, and personnel used it as a pool to cool
The extreme weather heated up the pavement on 600 N so
much that turning water tanker trucks damaged the roadway. Noble County
Highway personnel were called in to make repairs, and to spread sand
over the road's hot tar to prevent further damage and injuries. Noble
County Sheriff's Department deputies also came to the scene, as the road
had to be shut down between 400 E and 500 E because of the large number
of emergency vehicles crowding the area.
It took over an hour
to bring the blaze under control, and emergency units stayed on the
scene until about 6:30 p.m. Fire units of the Albion, Orange Township,
Avilla, Kendallville, LaOtto, and Ligonier fire departments responded to
the scene, while Noble Township fire trucks provided standby coverage
at the Albion fire station. Twenty-three Albion firefighters were among
those who responded, manning seven units.
Albion and Orange
Township fire units against responded to 600 N Sunday afternoon, when a
grass fire was reported about two miles west of the first blaze, but the
second was brought quickly under control.