High winds to blame for Galena fire that destroys 600 acres - KOAM TV 7

High winds to blame for Galena fire that destroys 600 acres


Gusty winds were to blame for a fire that began in the city of Galena and stretched for miles.

Wind blows flames in a fury across this field near state line road in what became a 600 acre fire in Galena. It all started  around noon Sunday. High wind gusts blew a transformer, causing a set of power lines to fall. The sparking lines triggered a grassfire that burned out of control.

"It's unseasonably warm, low humidity and all that, a little bit of spark could set it off." says Galena Resident Alan Wade.

The fire moved eastward across the town, scorching  land, melting cars, and burning storage structures. Neighbors assisted each other in containing the flames and grabbed anything they could find to help douse the hot spots surrounding their homes.

"I don't know what else it entailed or what else it burned...we're just making sure its safe here." Wade says.

With the high wind gusts, the fire continued to spread, which is why they called multiple agencies to help assist with this fire.

"If they hadn't have been here, we would have lost a lot more stuff. Because a lot of times with fires you have to set up and wait. You can't move. It's hard to put out the grass because it just went like mad." says Galena Fire Department Chief, Bill Hall.

Crews from Missouri and Kansas worked together to make sure the fire didn't spread to homes. But the wind worked against fire crews.

"It's running on us, jumping the roads, making it very difficult to catch up with the fire." says Tyler Hailey of the Reddings Mill Fire Department, which was one of the crews called to the scene.

Chief Hall says it's a challenge working in the midst of  heavy wind gusts and , is thankful no one was seriously injured.

"You don't like it because you know you're going to lose some structures, and you know structures can be replaced, but manpower cannot be replaced, and you always worry about someone getting burned." Hall says.

Hall says one fire fighter was taken to the hospital...but no other injuries were reported.

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