County firefighters spend weekend fighting blazes

By Bethany Knipp

Riley County firefighters were busy last weekend — putting out fires from spring burning but also confronting arson — according to emergency management director Pat Collins.

Collins said that crews had four fires to battle on Friday, about 12 on Saturday and about 10 on Sunday.

He said most of them were planned burns that got out of control, but about six fires on Saturday — in ditches northwest of Leonardville — were believed to have been set intentionally.

“We believe we had someone going around lighting fires on Saturday,” Collins said. The fires were set 15 minutes after the first one occurred, he said.

Sunday’s fires mostly happened because of rekindling, Collins said. 

Overall, the fires didn’t cause any injuries or property loss, but Collins said a few of them got fairly close to houses and then were put out in time.

Collins said about 150 people burned their land on Saturday, but the department suspended burnings for Sunday and Monday.

“It just too dry and too windy to burn right now,” he said.

Collins said about 35 to 40 firefighters worked all weekend on the various fires.









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