Colorado firefighter killed fighting blaze in high winds

wildfires

DENVER (AP) — A rural Colorado firefighter was killed when high winds suddenly shifted advancing flames as he battled a wildfire triggered by a combine in a cornfield, authorities said.

Larry Wyant, a volunteer firefighter with the Joes Fire Department, died Tuesday in southern Yuma County, KDVR-TV reported.

Wyant and coworkers were heading to the funeral of another Yuma County firefighter who died in a crash last week when they responded to Tuesday’s blaze, the Joes Fire Department said in a Facebook post.

“Every volunteer firefighter stopped what they were doing to come together and help and get containment of this fire,” the department said.

Wyant was working to get a hose line started when he was overcome by flames, said Assistant Fire Chief Michelle Smith.

Crews contended with shifting 30-mph (48-kph) winds and gusts of up to 60 mph (96 kph) in extinguishing the blaze, the department said.

Wyant and colleagues had planned to attend a funeral for Yuma Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Darcy Stallings, who died in a crash on Oct. 22 while responding to a fire call.

The small, unincorporated community of Joes is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of Denver.

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