Wheat field fire results in minimal damage

Prior to recent torrential rains which have kept farmers out of their fields, last week was a different story as dry conditions prompted Hillsboro firefighters to respond to a wheat fire at 150th and Jade.

Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee was the first on the scene at about 4:30 p.m. June 15.

?When I got there, Alan Suderman (and another person) were using shovels to keep the fire away from the standing wheat,? he said.

Using a pressurized can of water, Steketee said he was able to keep the flames at bay until other firefighters and equipment arrived.

The fire started when Suder?man drove his pickup over the stubble and the tail pipe or another part of the undercarriage caught it on fire. It was dry enough that huge cracks were visible on the ground, he said.

Although the flames burned about an acre, Steketee said it was all stubble, missing the wheat field.

Eight more firefighters arrived minutes later with a brush truck, pumper truck and tanker, he said, and were able to put out the fire in a short period of time.

Steketee said he suggests that farmers always carry either a pressurized water can or dry chemical extinquisher.

?It can make a big difference,? he said.

In addition to Steketee, other firefighters responding were Lyle Isaac, David Lancaster, Mike Duerksen, Chris Gibson, Lowell Foth, Mason McCarty, Todd Helmer and Matt Hein.

After being checked out by a member of the Hillsboro Emergency Medical Services and thanking firefighters for their help, Suderman went back to work havesting his field less than an hour after the incident.

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