Grass fire burns over fifty acres in field

STAPLETON, Neb. (KNOP)- A grass fire burned over fifty acres of pasture area in Stapleton Friday afternoon.

Fire Chief Frank Kramer with the Stapleton Fire Department says the call came in at 12:23 p.m. Stapleton, North Platte, Hershey, Sutherland and Maxwell Fire Departments were all paged out to Highway 83 and Mile Marker 96 in Stapleton.

Once on scene, North Platte and Stapleton fire fighters were able to get a handle on it and cancelled the other three units.

The fire burned for an hour and was knocked down around 1:30 p.m. Fire crews stayed on scene to mop up hot spots. The location of the fire was pasture fields with no livestock living on it.

Kramer said until the area gets more moisture, the vegetation that grew this summers is really dry and makes kindling for fires. He said people need to be cautious near the dry grass and weeds as the fire was started by a discarded cigarette butt. Kramer says this could have been a whole different story as the flames came within a couple hundred yards of a house.

"It could have been a totally different story, another quarter mile north of me, if the fire would’ve started, it could have easily become dependent on structure survival. Everybody needs to be fully aware of their situation and with the abundance of rain we had this summer, there is a lot of vegetation and right now is a critical time of our fire season until we get moisture and snow cover, but all these pastures are just ripe to burn and something as simple as a discarded cigarette could have made a really really bad day for a lot of people," said Kramer.

There were no injuries and no damage to structures. North Platte and Stapleton fire departments each had two grass rigs and one tanker on scene.