Crews battle large fire Friday night at tree disposal site in East Topeka

Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 8:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Crews battled a large fire Friday night at a tree disposal site on the city’s east side.

The fire was reported around 6:30 p.m. Friday near S.E. 18th and Madison, just south of downtown Topeka.

Authorities said the blaze occurred near the Shunga Trail.

According to Topeka Fire Marshal Alan Stahl, the blaze occurred at a tree disposal site that caught fire at Brown’s Tree Service.

Flames shot high into the night sky and could be seen for several miles away.

The flames also cast an orange glow on the night sky as smoke poured into the air.

Topeka fire crews battled the blaze to keep it contained to the area where it started.

There was virtually no wind on Friday evening in the downtown Topeka area and rain began to fall around 8 p.m. as crews were working to extinguish the blaze.

Dozens of people came to see the fire, many taking pictures and videos with their mobile phones. The large amount of cars coming into the area caused traffic congestion along S.E. 17th Street near the fire scene.

The large pile of tree limbs and branches takes up an area of at least 100 yards by 100 yards, Stahl said.

Topeka Fire Department crews were allowing the pile to burn itself out while they continue to monitor the blaze, Stahl said.

The fire department was aware smoke from the fire was being reported across the city, though it was all-natural materials that were burning, Stahl added.

Fire crews were expected to remain at the scene for the foreseeable future until the fire burns itself out.

The Topeka Fire Department also posted an alert on Facebook regarding the blaze and the significant amount of smoke emanating from it.

There were no immediate reports of injuries in Friday night’s blaze.

There also were no reports of the cause of the fire.

Authorities said the same tree disposal site caught fire several years ago and burned for several days.

According to 13 NEWS records, another large fire in the area was reported in April 2016.

Check for more information as it becomes available.