Elk County fire under control

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ELK COUNTY, Kan (KAKE) -

Crews have a large grass fire in Elk County under control.

Homes were evacuated when the grass fire started around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, south of Longton, in Elk County.

"There were no injuries and we are not sure about if there were any structure fires, no residences as far as we know," said Marla Ware, public information officer for Elk County.

The National Weather Service shared a satellite image of the fire south of Longton on Wednesday.

KAKE News spoke with the superintendent at Elk Valley USD 283 who says the school was available as a shelter for people who were evacuated. County officials said people from about four to five homes were evacuated from the area.

"I was just worried about getting my family out," said Sarah Coatney, a woman who was evacuated from the area with her family. "We grabbed the kids, dog, and then left."

Coatney said she didn't even know there was a fire until her mother-in-law called. Then she saw the fire just feet from her front yard.

"We happened to look out the window and it was just all engulfed with flames," she said.

The Elk County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook that it took more than 8 hours for the fire to come under control; at least five surrounding counties and multiple townships helped battle the blaze in 50 mph winds. County officials believe the fire started in Chautauqua County and burned into Elk County, but are unsure of the cause. They also said, firefighters will monitor the area to check for hot spots.

The sheriff's office thanked citizens and the Red Cross who brought water, Gatorade, and food to crews fighting the fire.

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