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Fire burns 4 square miles near TryonTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Firefighters, foreground, and smoldering terrain late Saturday afternoon.
Courtesy Photo­Image
Another angle

A man burning empty sacks started a 3,000-acre grass fire Saturday afternoon a few miles from Tryon.

The man, who was not identified, burned some empty salt sacks near a water tank shortly after 1 p.m., and the fire got away from him.

Firefighters from nearly a dozen departments responded and an airplane dropped water from above for nearly three hours. The battle wasn’t all over until after 4 p.m., McPherson County Fire Chief Edd Black said.

Tree wind breaks were burned, as well as grass “we didn’t need to lose," Black said, but no buildings were harmed.

The firefighters fought the fire from both sides, pinching the leading edges until it was extinguished.

An airplane from Broken Bow dropped five loads of water on the worst parts of the blaze, refilling its tanks in Thedford, Black said.

"That was a big help," he said.

Black has never see more dangerous fire conditions.

“It is extremely hazardous,” he said. “It hardly takes anything to get one started. If the fire starts in grass and there is just a little wind, it takes off. There is no chance to put it out with a shovel or anything handy.”

“With deer season coming on, it’s a worry,” Black said. "Hunters need to be very careful."

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/21/2012
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