Grass fire claims 150 acres and two cows near Bayard

BAYARD - Emergency response officials closed a portion of Highway 26, two miles south of the Bayard junction, Thursday evening due to a grass fire next to the road and zero-visibility because of smoke.

The Bayard Fire Department responded to the fire five miles east of the junction of Highways 26 and 92 at 5:39 p.m. They remained on scene until shortly before 9 p.m.

According to the department, the grass fire on the south side of the road was spreading rapidly to the west, so mutual aid was paged to the Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department.

High fuel loads, low moisture and gusty winds contributed to extreme fire behavior. The blaze burned approximately 150 acres of pasture land.

An abandoned mobile home was threatened, but didn't burn. The Bayard Fire Department says one or two cattle appeared to perish in the fire. No other injuries were reported to first responders or other animals. 

"We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the motorists passing through who used common sense and slowed down to allow us to do our work safely," the Bayard Fire Department said in a statement. "Thank you all for your courtesy and understanding."

The Morrill County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.