banida combine fire

Banida combine fire

A combine operated by Verl Christensen was completely destroyed by fire.

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Two-thirds of an acre in the mountainous area west of Oneida Narrows Dam was charred during the night of Aug. 13. Despite its small size, it took fire crews almost three hours to locate and extinguish the fire due to the difficulty in reaching it. The cause of the blaze is undetermined. It was burning under power transmission lines.

Another blaze on the Old Oxford Road and Fox Hollow Road east of Banida burned about 20 acres on Aug. 5. Verl Christensen was operating a combine and said the combine began overheating. He noticed a small fire under the machine and immediately drove to the road. With the hot dry weather, the field began to burn and the combine became fully involved in flames, said Franklin County Fire Marshall Matt Gleed.

Four Franklin County Fire District brush trucks and two engines respond to the blaze, and with the help of a tractor pulling a disk to make a fire line, the fire was extinguished in about three hours. However, the combine was a complete loss.

Another small fire was sparked the evening of Aug. 16, when a power line on 800 South near 2400 East dropped unexpectedly. The blaze was quickly extinguished, but area residents remained without power for a few hours while the power company repaired the line.

The fire district is not issuing burn permits until October due to an elevated risk of fire and the high temperatures. “The risk is just too great,” said Gleed.

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