The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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June 24, 2013

Overheated combine bearing touches off large wheat fire

Hot grease dripping from an overheated combine bearing touched off a fire that consumed about 180 acres of wheat and grassland Monday afternoon southeast of Enid.

Waukomis Fire Chief Clarence Maly said firefighters came from Waukomis, Pioneer Skeleton Creek, Douglas, Fairmont, Covington, Breckinridge, Garber and Enid responded with grass rigs, water tankers and pumper trucks to fight the conflagration.

“It happens really fast, and in this kind of winds, it spreads really fast,” Maly said. “It covered a mile pretty quick.”

Firefighters spent about two hours at the scene. Maly estimated about 45-50 acres of standing wheat were lost on the south and north sides of the fire.

Firefighters fought the flames from all sides of the fire and a farmer brought a tractor and disc to cut firebreaks to help stop the spread, Maly said. Garfield County sent a motor grader to help as well.

“There were two farmhouses it was encroaching upon, but we got it stopped,” Maly said.

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