Burklund/Axelton Fire Scorches over 8,000 acres

By Ryan Duey

According to Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Russell, preliminary estimates show that the Burklund/Axelton fire scorched approximately 8,200 acres across Riley and Pottawatomie counties, with about 60% of the affected land in Riley County.

While the current acreage burned might increase, it no longer poses a threat to homes or structures. The fire, sparked by a controlled burn, began in northern Pottawatomie County before spreading rapidly. Despite road closures and evacuations, only one home was lost, and no injuries were reported.

Russell expressed gratitude for the extensive support received from local and statewide firefighting agencies, totaling around 1,500 man-hours and 250 apparatus hours.

Commissioner John Ford echoed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts. Crews remain vigilant in monitoring the area for any remaining hot spots, with state officials scheduled to assess the situation and firefighting strategies in the coming days.

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