A grass fire north of Interstate 70 near Vine Street was brought under control quickly Monday afternoon, but it caused a brief power outage in the area.
The fire was reported shortly after 1:30 p.m. in an empty lot along Mopar Drive adjacent to Fairfield Inn. It quickly was extinguished by the Hays Fire Department.
HFD Capt. Kirk Klein said improperly disposed cigarettes are a possible cause of the fire. The fire department responded with five firefighters on one engine and one ladder truck.
Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with higher gusts occurred throughout the day Monday, with Ellis County and much of western Kansas in a high wind warning and red flag warning for fires.
The fire caused a brief power outage for that area of town and north of Hays.
Mike Morley, director of communications for Midwest Energy, said the fire caused a flashover that tripped substation breakers.
Approximately 1,300 customers, including many businesses on the Vine Street corridor, were without power for about a half an hour. The Hays Police Department directed traffic at intersections on Vine where the power affected stoplights.
The outage area was generally north of 33rd to Feedlot Road and 220th Avenue east to 260th Avenue.