Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
Weeds, grass and a lot of cattails caught on fire Monday afternoon near the sewer plant on the northwest side of Eudora. The fire was reported by Public Works crews around 4:20 PM Monday.
“Several of my guys saw the flames and thought there was a fire near or at the Sewer Treatment plant,” Public Works Director Mike Hutto said. “We found out that it was the excess brush located on the other side of the retention pond next to the sewer plant. We called 911 to report it and get fires crews on the scene.”
The area just to the west of the retention pond is where Public Works places the excess leaves, grass and brush from the city compost pile.
Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter stated that because all that material is packed down heavily in there, it causes heat to build up and there has been a smoldering fire in that excess pile that can’t be fully extinguished.
“The smoldering is normally not an issue, but with dryer weather conditions of late and just enough winds from the northwest today, it broke out,” Keiter stated. “There is probably an acre of cattails near the pile and when that kicked up with the winds it caught all those cattails and the weeds nearby on fire and the flames looked massive.” Smoke covered much of north Eudora as the winds carried the smoke through town along with a definite smell of burning grass and weeds.
Keiter said that with the help of Eudora Firefighters, Eudora Township and Public Works employees, they were able to get the fire under control quickly and have it knocked out in a couple of hours.
“Having the Township brush rigs and the Public Works high loaders and bulldozers really helped get the fire taken care of,” Keiter said.
Officials were concerned initially about the massive flames jumping the road and heading towards the apartments located west of 8th and Pine Streets. Crews were able to get it contained quickly so there was never a threat to any residences or the sewer plant.