SHELBY COUNTY — A Sunday afternoon field fire just north of Miami County caused headaches for local fire departments as high winds spread the blaze faster than firefighters could keep up.
Fletcher Fire Chief Tony Bensman said his department was dispatched Sunday, Oct. 13, around 3 p.m. to Tawawa Maplewood Road at Champaign Shelby Road after an area resident was allegedly burning trash and the fire jumped the containment and spread to a field of corn stubble.
High winds caused the fire to spread quickly. Calls for additional help went out. Rosewood, Lockington, Port Jefferson, and St. Paris responded with both grass trucks and tankers.
The fire began to spread to a large area of standing corn and soy beans around 1,000 feet downwind.
A pair of area farmers responded with large tractors and cultivators to cut a fire break. One Fletcher fireman on the scene described the sight of the tractors “like the Cavalry arriving” to help.
After nearly three hours, the fire was declared extinguished. A drone was deployed to make a final check over the standing corn.
Bensman said approximately 60 acres of crops burned in the fire and damage estimates are in the tens-of-thousands of dollars.
There were no injuries and firefighters cleared the scene around 6:15 p.m.
Reach Mike Ullery at firstname.lastname@example.org
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