MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Firefighters from Manhattan and Riley County braved the heat to battle a stubborn brush fire at the Manhattan Country Club.
The brush fire forced the country club, located at 1531 North 10th Street, to cancel a golf tournament Monday night as firefighters tackled the hard-to-access blaze.
The Manhattan Fire Department got the call about a large outside fire around 2:30 PM and crews found the large brush fire that was surrounded by trees in the center of the golf course. They worked all afternoon and night to get the blaze under control.
The brush on fire was on the side of a hill, and was in an area used by the Country Club for dumping tree debris for many years. The terrain and trees presented access problems as well as there was no water available for fighting the fire, officials said.
Deputy Chief Ryan Almes told WIBW: “The fire is pretty much contained to an area that is inside the golf course between fairways. It’s still burning but we feel like we have it contained and it’s not going to spread. Riley County Fire is here helping us. They have a lot of big tankers and brush trucks that they’re bringing down there which has been a big help. It’s in an area where they piled wood up for a lot of years and so it’s kind of in the middle of the golf course and it’s all in the trees.”
At the height of the fire, five fire trucks, six support vehicles and 30 firefighters from Manhattan Fire Department responded, with units remaining on scene throughout the night to control flare ups. Riley County Fire Department assisted with seven fire trucks and 16 personnel. A backhoe was brought to the scene to pull apart the burning debris in order to completely extinguish the fire.
Riley County EMS set up a rehab station at the scene to check firefighters’ vital signs and keep them hydrated.
Several trees on the golf course were destroyed. The course itself also sustained damage from the firefighting apparatus as they gained access to the area. The cause of the fire is under investigation.