Russell County grass fire contained

RUSSELL COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) Update: Firefighters contain a grass fire in Russell County.

The Russell County Emergency Manager, Keith Haberer, says the fire burned outbuildings and fencing along a six-mile stretch.

The fire forced homes to be evacuated and shut down Old Highway 40. It has since re-opened. The fire caused low visibility along I-70 and threatened its closure.

Haberer says an electrical spark from an oil pumping unit started the fire. He says this is a good reminder for people this time of year to be careful.

"Don't throw cigarettes out , don't do any cutting or welding outside, don't do any activities outside that's going to start a spark," said Haberer.

Firefighters suffered some minor smoke inhalation, but are expected to be okay. Haberer says a fire truck was almost overcome by fire.

He says the fire could burn in hay bales for days. Firefighters will continue to monitor the burned area for hot spots.

"We are so dry it will continue to just burn like this and the wind picked up today, so it makes for very hash conditions," said Haberer.

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There is a large grass fire burning in Russell County.

Trooper Tod Hileman with the Kansas Highway Patrol says the fire is in the Gorham area and is causing very low visibility on I-70 between mile marker 173 and 177.

If the fire gets closer to I-70 the road may have been to shut down.

We have a crew headed to the scene.