Northwest Iowa — Today is the deadline for fire departments in rural Iowa to seek state grants to buy equipment to fight fires in farm fields and timber areas. Gail Kantak, the fire supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says this is the time of year over-heated combines start a lot of fires.
KIWA listening area fire departments have been kept busy over the past several days fighting fires that have broken out during the fall harvest, including one that destroyed a semi near Fostoria, in Clay County, Monday afternoon. Kantak says grain bins are unfortunately fertile ground for fires, too, and a lit light bulb touching the grain can spark a fire.
Iowa fire departments that serve communities with a population under 10-thousand are eligible for Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants. The grants of up to 35-hundred dollars provide matching funds to buy fire fighting equipment “to save lives and protect property in rural areas.” In addition, the fire program staff in the Department of Natural Resources offers courses for volunteer fire fighters in Iowa to teach tactics for putting out fires in fields and other wild lands.