Weldona man dies fighting grass fire

Weldona man dies fighting grass fire

27 March 2008

published by www.fortmorgantimes.com

USA — One man died and fire followed fire as Wiggins, Fort Morgan and Kersey fire departments responded to two blazes near Orchard on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening.

Charles Wynne, 55, of Weldona may have died trying to create a fire block, reports indicated.

Wynne was pulling a plow with his tractor, apparently to build a firebreak, Morgan County coroner Don Heer said. He was apparently trying to create a fire line around the fire, Heer added, when soft dirt on top of the Riverside Irrigation Ditch gave way and the tractor tipped over and landed on him.

Wynne apparently died instantly, Heer said. He was found about 3:50 p.m., Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone said.

The Morgan County Coroner’s Office and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the death, and an autopsy was scheduled for today.

Six trucks from Wiggins and two trucks each from Fort Morgan and Kersey scrambled to a fire near Morgan County Road Y and MCR 1 about 3 p.m.

That blaze eventually consumed 110 acres, said Wiggins Fire Chief Landre Walker.

The second fire broke out near Highway 34 about 5 p.m., and firefighters were not finished with it until about 8:30 p.m. It burned 40 to 50 acres, Walker said.

Walker had not had a chance to write up a report yet and did not know how many firefighters responded, but there were quite a few, he said Thursday morning.

None of the firefighters were injured, Walker said.

Both blazes started as controlled fires that got out of hand. Quite a few trees and heavy grass fueled the fires to make them difficult to fight, he said.

No structures were involved, Walker said.

Fort Morgan firefighters were helping the Wiggins department at the scene of the first grass fire when they were called to yet another one near County Roads 19 and L south of Fort Morgan.

That third fire was put out with no injuries reported, and the cause is under investigation, Fort Morgan Fire Chief Brad Parker said.

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