The Prowers County Rural Fire Department conducted a control burn grass fire in the fields just west of the Lamar High School last night, March 9th. The area was between the soccer field and the livestock barn used by agricultural students. Rural Fire Chief Staffon Warn said the calm night provided an opportunity for a training exercise for the department which used three trucks and nine members of the department. The region is on the early edge of the traditional burning season when farmers clear their fields with a controlled burn.
“We usually train at 7pm so this gave us a chance to operate at night. The fire takes on a different aspect and gives us a chance to view any hotspots that wouldn’t normally be seen during the day,” he explained. Warn said the burn provided a new view of the fields which are going to be expanded next year. “The school is planning to expand the upper and lower fields towards the south. The upper field will be used for football practice and the bottom area will still be used for soccer practice and home games. People will be able to come out and sit on the knoll and watch the games from that vantage point instead of the fenced area along Yucca Street,” he added.
It has been a dry winter and several red flag warnings have been posted throughout the area due to strong spring winds and lack of moisture. Just several days prior to the exercise burn, work crews cleared the high school soccer field of dry stubble and chaff using a small skip loader to pile up the debris accumulated from a mobile power rake and to level and smooth off the playing area.
By Russ Baldwin
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