The quiet crackling was deceptively disarming, as the grass fire voraciously devoured the landscape, boasting with a mountain of smoke. "It's burned up a mile in one direction, three-quarters of a mile wide," said Levelland Fire Chief Marvin Brewer.
It all started behind a tractor, just after three in the afternoon. "We were shredding out here and had a bearing go out and that caught the grass on the tractor on fire and that set the field on fire," said a farm hand.
Over the next two hours it consumed everything. "Three go up there and help out ten.," ordered Brewer. The heat from the flames rippling like a pool of water, the smoke visible from 50 miles away.
Three fire departments attacked the beast; Levelland, Smyer, and Littlefield. Charging in like calvary, dousing the field with more water than it's seen in 6 months. "I estimate we've used about 10,000 gallons," said Brewer.
Left behind? A smoldering blackened aftermath, primed for new life when the rains come. "It'll be as green as you ever seen," said the Chief.
But until then, this field that looks like another world will be a reminder of just how dry the South Plains are.