By Pete Soyer
A grass fire swept threw about 2,000 acres of prairie and pastures 32 miles north of Havre Friday and destroyed a grain bin and an abandoned homestead.
The fire started near the Wild Horse Road about 3 p.m. and was under control about 8 p.m., said Wild Horse Fire Chief Joe Pruys.
Jane Thompson said the fire burned across her land and threatened her home. She said the fire was "closer than a quarter of a mile" to her family's house.
"An abandoned farmstead between our neighbors and us burned down," she added.
"It burned up pasture and hay ground," she said. "People don't realize the land or the property that can be destroyed."
Pruys said Wilfred Peterson lost a grain bin containing 1,000 bushels of grain.
Thompson said she suspects someone accidentally started the fire by being careless.
Pruys said he doesn't know what started it. "A cigarette will start it, a spark off a car or pickup. It's hard to say."
He said the fire began near the highway and the wind moved it east and north.
Fire departments from Gildford, Kremlin, Havre, Chinook and Manyberries, Alberta, assisted in containing the blaze.
Pruys said that with the dry weather, "people need to be real careful."