Field fire spreads out of control over the weekend

Multiple county fire departments had their hands full Saturday afternoon trying to get the upperhand on a field fire east of CR 325 E and south of Old 30. The fire can be seen spreading in the lower-left and upper-right of the photo. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

A Saturday afternoon field fire behind Kenway Drive off of CR 325E in Warsaw took nearly four hours to get under control.

Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory Public Information Officer Max Kinsey said they were called at 12:53 p.m. Saturday to the extensive field fire.

“A lot of people will burn this time of year, whether it’s leaves or tall grasses, and sometimes it gets away from them,” Kinsey said. “When we got there, it had already spread pretty far.”

Kinsey said the field was “pretty swampy” and resulted in WWFT’s grass truck getting stuck. The grass truck is useful for situations like this, with water nozzles on the front bumper.

“It was pretty difficult to put out just because of the size of it. There was a lot of manpower needed. We couldn’t take our trucks back there, so we had to basically if you can imagine, pull hundreds of feet of charged hose through a swamp, so it wears you out pretty quick,” Kinsey said, saying Lutheran EMS was on scene and treated several firefighters who overheated and got exhausted.

“You just try to get ahead of where the wind is pushing it and use the wind to your advantage,” Kinsey said. “But you pretty much have to attack it from all four sides.”

Assisting WWFT battle the field was Winona Lake, Burket, Leesburg, Claypool and North Webster fire departments.

They all left the scene after roughly five hours after clean up, Kinsey said.

He also suggests that as the weather gets warmer and people want to burn leaves or tall grasses that they keep a garden hose or water source nearby.

“Make sure you never leave (the fire) unattended and if at all possible have a water source,” he said.