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Fire Departments Respond To Field, Combine Fires

Ashton, Iowa — A late model combine and about an acre of standing corn were destroyed in a fire on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 near Ashton.

Ashton Combine Fire 10142015
Photo/Tommy Kuiper

According to Ashton Fire Chief Rob Imhoff, about 5:30 PM, the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of combine on fire in the 5100 block of 230th Street, about a mile east of the old Cedar Cabin in Ashton. The chief says the fire department saw that the combine was fully engulfed as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire, and the area around the burned area was disked to prevent flare-ups from damaging nearby crops. Imhoff says there were no injuries reported. The fire department was assisted by the Sibley Fire Department. He says the cause of the fire is unknown, but may have been accelerated by an oil or gas leak. Chief Imhoff reports that along with the thousands of dollars of damage to the combine, the corn was probably worth about $600. He says crews were on scene about an hour and a half.

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Alton, Iowa –- A fire near Alton destroyed 20 acres of standing corn on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

According to Alton Assistant Fire Chief Quintin Van Es, about 5:25 PM, the Alton Fire Department was called to the report of field fire on 500th Street between Jefferson and Kennedy Avenue. That’s about four miles due south of Alton or about two and a half miles east of Carnes. The chief says the fire department saw lots of smoke and standing corn was on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to stop the fire from going into an adjacent field to the east. He said soon farmers with tractors and disks started arriving and they did the majority of the work. He says about 12 farmers with tractors and disks helped fight the fire. Van Es says no injuries were reported. The fire department was assisted by the Orange City, Oyens, Remsen, and Le Mars Fire Departments who came with their water tankers. He says the cause is unknown but he suspects a hot part or a spark from a combine. Van Es says there was no damage to the combine. Wind was an issue he says, and possibly dust near hot parts may have been a factor. Chief Van Es reports that about 20 acres of corn and 20 acres of stubble burned. At the county average and cash price for corn, the loss was estimated at over $12,000. He says they used 5000 to 6000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Van Es says the Alton Fire Department has been busy. He says they helped Orange City with the fire north of town that same day, and on Wednesday, October 14th, about 4 PM, they assisted with another field fire in Plymouth County south of Carnes.
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Boyden, Iowa — The Boyden Fire Department also responded to a couple of fires on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015.

However, these fire calls were much more minor. Fire Chief Galen Blankers reports the two calls were actually within a half a mile of each other and both involved a stalk chopper. They both happened on Kingbird Avenue between 290th and 300th streets, about two and a half miles northeast of Boyden. Chief Blankers says hot dust or chaff may have been a factor. He says about an acre of stubble burned in one fire, and the farmer had the second one about out with an extinguisher by the time they got there, but they did check for hot spots to make sure the fire was out. He says damage was minimal. The first call came in about 5:15 PM, and the second one was about 11 PM.
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Archer, Iowa — The Archer Fire Department was also called to a fire call on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015. Fire Chief Don De Boer says it was at the Dick Burns place at 5125 360th Street. He says sparks from a burn pile started a tree on fire. He says they put it out with water and foam. The chief reports they used 500 gallons of water and were on scene for 45 minutes. He says damage was limited to the one tree.

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