Local

Houses damaged as grass fires erupt in north Wichita

A Wichita fire fighter hoses down hot spots from a grass fire near 25th and Poplar Wednesday afternoon. The fire swept north from 25th to 26th street igniting a house and setting other small fires.
A Wichita fire fighter hoses down hot spots from a grass fire near 25th and Poplar Wednesday afternoon. The fire swept north from 25th to 26th street igniting a house and setting other small fires. The Wichita Eagle

Grass fires damaged six houses and three sheds in north Wichita on Wednesday afternoon as firefighters worked to keep the flames from spreading, authorities said.

Two of the damaged houses are next to each other near Grove and 26th Street North, a Sedgwick County emergency dispatcher said. The first report of a grass fire came in to 911 just after 1 p.m.

The fires near 25th and Grove were under control shortly before 2:45 p.m., according to a post on the Wichita Fire Department’s Facebook page.

“Three structures were involved with significant damage,” the post stated.

According to the department, the fires caused $80,000 in damage. A cigarette discarded on 25th Street started the fire, which then spread north to 26th Street, according to a tweet from the Wichita Fire Department.

Dozens of police and fire units were deployed to the area in an effort to control traffic and halt the advance of the flames, the dispatcher said. No injuries were reported.

Winds at midafternoon were blowing steadily out of the south in the low 20s and gusting to nearly 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Another grass fire was reported near Osie and Beech in southeast Wichita, close to Harry and Webb Road. Fire crews were able to get it under control quickly.

Yet another grass fire near 119th and Jamesburg, in northwest Wichita, was quickly brought under control around 3:30 p.m., according to the dispatcher.

A burn ban is in effect for Wichita and Sedgwick County through Friday night because of persistent dry conditions, robust winds and low humidity, authorities said. Firefighters responded to 39 grass or brush fires around Sedgwick County last weekend.

Contributing: Matt Riedl of The Eagle

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

  Comments