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Published March 22, 2012, 06:55 PM

Fire damages farmstead in Wilkin County

Wolverton, MN (WDAY TV) - Extremely dry conditions are wreaking havoc in parts of the Red River Valley. Fire damaged much of a farmstead in rural Wilkin County, including some classic cars. It started as a control burn barely the size of this desk, but it burned acres.

Extremely dry conditions are wreaking havoc in parts of the Red River Valley. Fire damaged much of a farmstead in rural Wilkin County, including some classic cars. It started as a control burn barely the size of this desk, but it burned acres.

For 22 years Clint and Tessie Smith have called this rural Wolverton farm home. A beautiful barn, acres of land, vintage automobiles…

Clint Smith – Lost Part of Farm in Fire: “1965 Porche 356C, Triumph TR7, 65 Volkswagen convertible.”

With one small grass fire that all changed.

Tessie Smith – Lost Part of Farm in Fire: “And when I drove in past the meadows, and I looked into the meadows, the trees were gone and I couldn't see the barn, then I pulled around and I saw all the fire trucks.”

Initially Smith was attempting to burn off this small asparagus patch, but with the extremely dry conditions the fire quickly spread. Before he knew it the entire south side of his farmstead was engulfed.

Clint Smith: “It's real dry; things just get out of control.”

The heat from the fire so intense, their camper literally exploded. After fighting the fire alone for half-an-hour with buckets, a neighbor called for help. Crews from Breckenridge, Wolverton, Christine and Barnesville all showed up.

It took 3 hours to contain. When all was said and done, more than a quarter of this 6 acre farmstead was left a smoldering pile of what used to be.

Tessie Smith: “It's hard to look out the window and see smoke instead of a barn.”

With the daunting task of clean-up still ahead, the Smiths struggle to find a bright spot on this gloomy day.

Clint Smith: “It's going to be quite a loss. You just have to tell yourself it's just stuff.”

According to the Smith's, insurance will likely cover very little of what they lost.

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