A massive fire ignited on March 27 in Oklahoma and it continued to spread all the way into the state of Kansas.
The fire lasted three days. About 450,000 acres were burned in both states. There were approximately 1,000 structures threatened by the fire.
Twelve people were sent to the nursing homes and two people were sent to the hospital. There were no human deaths in the fire, but there were many cattle that died. Most of the cattle died of pneumonia from breathing in so much smoke.
Freshman Gracie Bricker was a member of one of the families that had to evacuate her home because the fire got so close.
“A lot of people have pitched in with moving the cattle and hay and horses and belongings to try to save them from the fire,” Bricker said.
About five miles of fences were burnt around the Brickers’ farm. Around 1,600 acres were also burnt near their farm.
Several homes and bridges were burned in both states. The strong shifting winds made it very hard to control where the fire traveled to. The enormous fire was the biggest recorded in Kansas and one of the biggest in the entire United States. Towards the end of the fire, the governor of Kansas finally declared a state of emergency.
Sophomore Logan Clifton was one of the volunteer firefighters that helped out with the fire when it came near Pratt.
“Many of the fire departments were mad because the government wasn’t even trying to help with the organization of putting out the fire,” Clifton said.
He helped build fences back during and after the fire.
Although there was much chaos during the fire, the firefighters, with the help from other firefighters from surrounding counties in both states, managed to put out the fire with great success.