Seven Fire Departments Battle Silage Blaze In Rural Sioux Center On Wednesday
Date posted - September 20, 2012
Sioux Center Fire Chief Dave Van Holland reports that they were paged about 12:30 to a fire on the Pete Haverhals place, eight miles west of Sioux Center on 400th Street, or about eight miles northeast of Hawarden.
Chief Van Holland reports that it was a large silage pile on fire, that had started the surrounding grass on fire as well. He says they called for help from six other fire departments, including Hull, Orange City, Hawarden, Rock Valley, and Maurice, Iowa; and Hudson, South Dakota.
The chief reports the cause was likely spontaneous combustion, where fermenting silage gets hot, due to the biological processes in the silage, and starts a fire. He says while the damage to the silage and surrounding grass was extensive, there was no damage to buildings or any injuries to people, pets, or livestock.
Van Holland reports that over 100,000 gallons of water were used to fight the fire and an excavator also provided help to pull the pile apart. He says fire crews were on-scene for about five hours.
The chief also wants to tell people to be very careful with fire and things that could get hot. With the drought conditions and the wind we’ve had, the recipe is right for explosive fire growth. He recommends having a tractor and disk hooked up and ready at all times, especially near harvest operations. He says farmers might also consider having a water tank available as well.
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