Lightning is cause of three fire calls over five-day span
Temperatures result in heat exhaustion concerns on Sunday
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Stormy skies and a lot of lightning have been the cause of three fire calls over a five-day span, all summoning the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD).
All of the fire calls came during a warm week of weather in the Imperial area, causing some firefighters to experience heat exhaustion Sunday.
The calls started last Thursday when lightning sparked a grass fire about 8:30 p.m. in a southwest section of the Enders State Wildlife Management Area.
Fire Chief Nick Schultz said about 10 acres of grass burned. The IVFD was on the scene for about two hours.
A mid-afternoon call Sunday took the IVFD to the Burton Beard farm, west of Champion. It’s believed, Schultz said, that a tree trunk struck by lightning Thursday continued to smolder until it started the surrounding vegetation on fire three days later.
Trees and about an acre of grass and vegetation burned just west of the Beard home, Schultz said.
Firefighters were on the scene about two hours again, but this time, several firemen experienced some degree of heat exhaustion, he said. Because of that concern, the Imperial EMS was called in to monitor the firemen. Temperatures were in the upper 90s.
A call Monday night at 7:20 p.m. also reported a grass fire, southwest of Champion at the intersection of Rd 326 and Ave. 729. However, the IVFD trucks were called back shortly after leaving the barn when rain extinguished the fire, Schultz said.