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Prowers County Rural Fire Department Received Grants, Urges Red Flag Caution

Water Soak for Burned Hay Bales

Water Soak for Burned Hay Bales

Staffon Warn, Prowers County Rural Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager, said his department had received a grant of almost $40,000 from the Colorado Division of Fire Safety Prevention and Control which will purchase sets of self-contained breathing apparatus and two sets of bunker gear for firefighters. He informed the Prowers County Commissioners, he had received word that the City of Lamar Fire Department was awarded funding for 25 sets of gear and the Town of Holly received a grant to pay for the cost of a special washing machine used to clean bunker gear.  He had not learned if the Wiley Department was awarded a grant.  Warn added that a grant from Volunteer Fire Assistance are still pending and this group can run behind schedule for making the awards known to various agencies.

Blasting Burned Bales with Water Jet

Blasting Burned Bales with Water Jet

Recent dry and windy conditions have prompted some controlled burns in the county and the Rural Fire Department assisted over the weekend with a burn on Saturday along the Ft. Bent Canal west of 14th Street, clearing ditches of weeds. He said his department responded to a hay bale fire on Sunday on the outskirts of the county.  “We had a call for a hay bale fire at the intersections of County Road 9 and HH7, north of the railroad tracks along East Maple Street.  We’re not sure of the origin, but 235 bales of hay in 3 by 3 by 8 foot stacks ignited right along the roadside.”  Warn said the owner decided to let the remaining bales burn themselves out and the department maintained a watch on them.  “Some folks from Lamar Light and Power came out and checked on their poles, but there was no power loss,” he added.  On Monday, the bales had burned down to about two feet in height and were still smoldering.  As a precaution, the department had done a controlled burn for weeds in the immediate vicinity to prevent any blowing embers from igniting the fields.  Because of the National Weather Service, Red Flag Warning Tuesday with winds expected to gust in excess of 40 MPH, the department brought a single truck to spray and break apart any remaining bales using hundreds of gallons of water to give them a thorough soak.

Warn said he will attend a local meeting regarding First Net at the County Annex on March 29th, a high speed internet broadband that provides services for public safety organizations. This is part of a national network for emergency responders using high speed data for public safety concerns.  The following day, March 30th, the annual Storm Spotters Class will be held for interested residents.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarCountyFeaturedHot TopicsPublic Safety

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