All Aboard Harvest | Jada: Fire in Cherokee wheat field wreaks havoc
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Jada: Fire in Cherokee wheat field wreaks havoc

Jada: Fire in Cherokee wheat field wreaks havoc

Today just outside of Cherokee, OK combines rushed to get a 40 – 50 bushel crop in as flames licked through the field. The haste was alarmingly emphasized by the need to protect their burning cash in the form of wheat. In their rush to rapidly cut the wheat, two Case combines in the field narrowly escaped an even far worse fate when the fire seemed envelop them. They made it through the fire unharmed via the ditch but it is a lesson learned. When the wind is blowing approximately 15 to 30 miles an hour and it is hot and dry, a little flame can cause disaster.

The combines dumped their loads onto a truck on the road. Assistant Fire Chief TJ Allison says the fire was contained to two quarters owned by two different farmers. One field lost 90 acres while the other lost 20 – 30 acres. A tractor with a disc was brought in to help sustain the fire. Fifteen fire fighters also responded to the fire to get it put out.

Allison said the fire was most likely caused by a cigarette carelessly tossed in a ditch. A Fire Marshall is coming out to further investigate and make the final determination. My husband Leon, with the help of Rick and Jodi Sugden’s driving, took photos of the fire with his cell phone. Just yesterday, Sugden Harvesting cut a neighboring field. With these winds, it’s a relief even more damage wasn’t done.

A combine rushes around a fire cutting wheat as it goes
A combine rushes around a fire cutting wheat as it goes.

A combine prepares to dump in midst of the fire
A full combine prepares to dump in midst of the fire.

Combines were caught in a ring of fire but eventually got out
Combines were caught in a ring of fire but eventually got out.

A fire in a wheat field near Cherokee, OK
A fire in a wheat field near Cherokee, OK

Jada can be reached at jada@allaboardharvest.com. All Aboard 2011 is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.

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1Comment
  • Dale Hespe
    Posted at 23:30h, 03 June

    That happened to us years ago, the man that started my Dad in the harvest had to drive a 95 four miles to a water hose, he got it put out and did not burn up the combine.