Pottawatomie, Riley County Fight Wildfire

By Payton Tholstrup

Photo Courtesy of Riley County Fire District #1 

On Friday, April 5th, a fire started in Pottawatomie County and moved across the river channel into Riley County, ending up near Axelton Hill Road that evening. It was driven north by strong winds.

At 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, two homes were evacuated. 11 more homes were notified that evacuation might be necessary.

On Sunday at 6:00 p.m., more homes were evacuated to protect residents. The evacuation area included RedBud Acres, Swede Creek Road, Cleburne Road, Vilander, and everything east.

Air support was provided through the state by Heinen Brothers Ag T95 airplanes and the Kansas National Guard Black Hawk Helicopters.

As of 10:00 a.m., April 8th, the Axelton Hill Road fire is continuing to burn in Riley County. Evacuees were able to return to their homes and firefighters were on scene throughout Sunday night to monitor conditions.

Pottawatomie County is calling this the “Jenkins Fire” and Riley County is calling this the “Axelton Hill Road Fire” but it is the same fire. It is estimated that over 3,000 acres burned in Riely County. One home was lost, and several buildings were damaged. No injuries have been reported.

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