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Grass fire burns 1 acre near Victoria





VICTORIA -- A thrown tire tread has been determined the likely cause of a grass fire along Interstate 70 at approximately 1 p.m. today.

According to Tom Tholen, chief of the volunteer Ellis County Rural Fire Co. 4 in Victoria, a call came into the 911 dispatcher at 12:48 p.m.

Dennis Dinkel of the Kansas Highway Patrol was the first on the scene, and other emergency personnel soon followed.

Approximately an acre of grass on the north side of I-70 near mile marker 171, approximately 3 miles east of Victoria, burned.

Tholen found chunks of rubber in the grass and believed they caused a spark that set the grass on fire.

Two trucks from Victoria were dispatched to the scene to put out the fire.

"We were lucky," Tholen said, "because the fire jumped the fence, but (firefighters) were able to get that out first and then work their way back" to the interstate.

A burn ban remains in effect for Ellis County due to the dry conditions. A red flag warning was issued for the county today, signifying extremely dangerous fire conditions.