Controlled Burn Reported Cause of Berklund/Axelton Fire

By Ryan Duey

During a press conference on Monday, officials reported that the Berklund/Axelton fire in Pottawatomie and Riley Counties started with a controlled burn in the river bottom at the North end of Tuttle Creek Reservoir. The fire was almost out by Tuesday with no more danger to homes.

The fire began by the river on Friday in Pottawatomie County, which got out of control and spread to Riley County due to the strong winds. There was not a burn ban in place at the time.

Responders with the Riley County Fire District #1 have tallied 1,000 personnel hours and about 250 apparatus hours fighting the fire, said Deputy Chief of Operations Doug Russell. Three planes and three helicopters were used to help put out the fire, dropping hundreds of gallons of water to protect buildings. Although the wind will be calm until Thursday, authorities are still watching for any dangers.

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