Rash Of Field Fires Continues In Northwest Iowa

Northwest Iowa — Several more field fires were reported on Thursday. Luckily, most of them didn’t cause a whole lot of damage.

The calls started coming in after noon. About 12:25, the Hospers Fire Department was called to 390th and Marsh Avenue, about a mile northeast of Hospers for a field fire. Fire Chief Jason Overmole reports that by the time they got there, the farmer had the spots out. He says he disked around them. Overmole says it was a good thing he got it taken care of as the fire was in standing corn and it was windy. He reminds farmers to have disks at the ready and to practice common sense in these dry and ripe-for-fire conditions.

The Sioux Center Fire Department responded to four field fire calls on Thursday — two in their own territory and two helping other departments. Fire Chief David Van Holland reports that about 1:35 someone shredding stalks hit a rock, causing sparks and a fire ensued at 360th Street and Fig Avenue, about five miles northwest of Sioux Center. Van Holland says luckily, the fire was in harvested stalks. Firefighters from Rock Valley, Hull, Ireton, and Maurice helped out the Sioux Center firefighters, as did twelve farmers with disks.

Just a little later, and not too far away at 390th and Fig, he says they responded to 3 round bales on fire. That fire is thought to have been caused by a baler malfunction.

Van Holland says they also helped out Hawarden and Ireton firefighters with field fires at 440th and Cleveland (about three and a quarter miles northeast of Hawarden) and 390th and Chestnut (about five miles northeast of Hawarden), which were called in about 3:35 p.m.

About 2:45 p.m., the Melvin Fire Department was paged to a field fire at 6343 230th Street, about four miles northeast of Melvin. Chief Brennen Raveling says thanks to the quick thinking and action of the farmer, the fire was out before they got there.

Around 3:35 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to a field fire about a half a mile west of Highway 75 and 170th Street, about a mile south of Rock Rapids. Fire Chief Ed Reck says the wind was working with them and blowing the flames away from standing corn. No crop was damaged, and a neighbor also came with a disk to help them out.

Moments later, at 3:40 p.m., the Alton Fire Department was called to a baler fire at 480th and Highway 60, about two miles southwest of Alton. Fire Chief Quinton Van Es says it wasn’t really a baler fire, but the baler had dropped hot embers onto stubble on the ground. The farmer had disked it out, but they found hot spots in the baler and helped the farmer clean it out.

The Primghar Fire Department was called back out to the city burning pit/dump about 4 p.m. on Thursday for smoldering smoking debris. He says city workers covered everything up, but the dump is closed now for a while.

About 4:10 p.m. the Sanborn Fire Department was called to a combine fire a mile north and a half a mile east of Sanborn. Details of that call are not available, but you can find a story about an accident that occurred when a semi struck a fire truck that was en route to the fire by clicking here.


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