Volunteers battle large grassfire in southwest Clay County

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A Vashti VFD truck follows as a dozer cuts a fire break through heavy mesquites Thursday afternoon.

A Vashti VFD truck follows as a dozer cuts a fire break through heavy mesquites Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters battled brush and high winds Thursday afternoon as a large grassfire blackened a swath of southwest Clay County.

The size of the fire was not available as of Thursday evening, though firefighters from the Windthorst VFD, the first to arrive on scene, estimated 100 acres to have burned by 3 p.m. The fire was first reported on Raht Road, approximately four miles west of Four Corners, at 2:30 p.m.

The fire burned in a southeasterly direction, crossing portions of Scaling and Burns ranches, as well as part of a property owned by Wayne Roe.

The fire was driven by constant winds of 20 to 25 miles per hour from the northwest across pasture land and through heavy mesquite. Firefighters were helped by a wheat field and plowed ground to the south, which protected nearby structures.

Fighting Thursday’s blaze were volunteer departments from Joy, Bluegrove, Vashti, Windthorst and Henrietta, as well as dozer operators Jack Pickett and Jess Spivey, and ranch hands with spray rigs. Clay County Precinct 3 provided a tanker truck and water.

The fire was fully contained by 7:10 p.m. with only a few hot spots to extinguish.

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Matt Kelton

Matt Kelton began working for community newspapers at 19 and has since won numerous awards. He founded The Pioneer Sentinel in 2011 with the belief that a locally owned news source best represents a community. Matt is a fifth generation resident of Clay County.

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