Fire claims life of Yuma County firefighter as he headed to fellow firefighter’s funeral

Local News

YUMA COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A Yuma County firefighter died Tuesday afternoon when high winds changed the direction of a running fire, claiming his life.

Larry Wyant, a firefighter with the Joes Fire Department, was headed to the funeral of another area firefighter when a combine sparked a fire in a cornfield, the department told FOX31.

“Every volunteer firefighter stopped what they were doing to come together and help and get containment of this fire,” the Joes Fire Department posted on Facebook.

It happened near Highway 36 and County Road T in southern Yuma County. They were on scene within minutes.

The crews faced 30 mph winds with gusts up to 60 mph, the department said, with the wind direction repeatedly changing as they worked to suppress the flames.

Wyant “was out of the truck attempting to get a hose line started and the fire took him over,” said Michelle Smith, the assistant fire chief of the Joes Fire Department.

Now, the community is mourning yet another death of one of their own. Just days ago, Yuma County volunteer firefighter Darcy Stallings died in a crash while responding to a fire call.

Smith said the small town of Joes “is very close-knit,” and when Wyant’s wife passed away a year and a half ago, it brought him closer to the people who served on the department.

“We all kind of looked out for him. So it’s one of those that when someone’s down, we all want to be there for him,” Smith said.

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