Lights and Sirens

Wind, Dry Conditions Perfect Recipe For Fires

Northwest Iowa — The recent strong winds have blown things about in northwest Iowa, but they’ve also caused — or at least accelerated — a number of fires as well.

A couple of the fires involved area tree dumps.

On Monday, about 3:30 p.m., Sutherland firefighters were called to a fire at that town’s tree dump. Sutherland Fire Chief Mark Shriver says the wind had provided oxygen to some embers, and that had caused some big logs to ignite. He says firefighters put out the fire and the city personnel covered the embers with dirt and closed the dump for the day to limit the possibility of someone inadvertently stoaking any embers or starting any fires.

Orange City firefighters also responded to a tree dump fire at that city’s tree dump late Monday night, about 11:35 p.m. Orange City Fire Chief Denny VanderWel says something hot was pushed near some other tree debris and started the pile on fire. VanderWel says nothing important burned, but it did cause Orange City firefighters to work into the wee hours making sure the fire was out. He tells us they were there about three hours. He says they received help from the Alton Fire Department in the form of a tanker of water, and from city staff who helped with a payloader.

VanderWel says the recent moisture should help prevent this type of call. He says hopefully, we’ll get some more rain soon.

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