Fire Chief: Put A Screen On Your Burn Barrel

Orange City, Iowa — The Orange City and Alton fire departments were called out for a fire on Thursday, June 6, 2024 near Orange City.

According to Orange City Fire Chief Dan Roghair, at about 2:00 p.m., the Orange City Fire Department was called to the report of a bale fire near two barns at 4569 Ironwood Avenue, a little over half a mile south of Orange City’s west side.

The chief says the fire department saw a single bale on fire as they approached the scene, which they quickly extinguished.

Roghair says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by Alton as part of their auto aid agreement. Roghair says when he first responded he asked for Sioux Center and Maurice firefighters to be paged as well due to the high wind and the fact that the fire was close to farm buildings. But he says he turned them around once they knew what they were dealing with.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be sparks from a burn barrel.

Chief Roghair reports that the damage was limited to the bale.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Roghair would also like to suggest that if you have a burning barrel, it would be a good idea to have it covered with a screen, even when you’re done with it. He says the burn barrel may have last been used several days or even weeks ago, but sometimes deeply-embedded embers can last that long and in strong winds like they had on Thursday, can flare to life again. Some sort of screen on top could prevent fire damage.


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