A quick response by a former Peabody firefighter helped to contain a grass fire Monday at 110th and Pawnee Rds. that ignited from a controlled burn.
Property owner Amy Stutzman said a large pile of timber contained in a burn pit had been burning for about three or four hours without incident when she drove to Peabody for lunch, leaving behind contractors who were working on a house on the corner lot.
Colton Terronez was driving back to Peabody from Marion along back roads, and when a call for the Peabody fire department appeared on his cell phone, the former firefighter realized the fire was nearby.
A light breeze from the east when Stutzman started the burn had shifted, blowing briskly from the southwest as Terronez arrived. With the south ditch along 110th road ablaze and more dry pasture grass across the road next to a house, Terronez grabbed a large shovel and worked his way along the ditch scraping and scooping to extinguish flames.
Terronez had rounded the corner and was tackling flare-ups in the east ditch of Pawnee Rd. when Peabody firefighters arrived.
They focused their attention initially on a skid steer sitting in the middle of a section of smoking charred grass. A worker from Jantz Carpentry of Burns had to abandon the machine when intense flames flared up around him, Stutzman said.
Firefighters quickly shifted their attack to extinguish the remaining ditch fires and soak down hot spots to eliminate the possibility of a rekindle.
The wind helped to keep the fire away from a log house Stutzman is constructing on the property, and an abandoned stone house nearby.