Sibley, Iowa — A field fire near Sibley on Wednesday is thought to have been caused by a wind turbine.
Sibley Fire Chief Kenny Huls says they were originally called to a field fire two-thirds of a mile south of Allendorf or four miles east of the east side of Sibley. But when they got there, he says they found about 20 acres of stalks burning, and the wind was strong.
They put out the fire with fire flappers and water before it could get to an electric substation, a communications tower, and a county shelter house. They also received assistance from a local road grader.
He says when they were looking for what may have caused the fire, they noticed some charring on the windmill motor, and with the distance and the wind carrying those sparks, he says it appeared to him that perhaps the wind turbine malfunctioned and shot a spray of sparks out into the field.
He says the firefighters were there for an hour and a half or maybe a little more.
Chief Huls reminds people that while we are getting outside and starting to get work done, the grass is still brown. So he says to be very careful with fire. Pay attention to the weather, the wind speed, and the wind direction before you decide to light a fire, and if they are not favorable, wait for a better time. Chief Huls also echoes Sioux Center Fire Chief David Van Holland’s words about calling the sheriff’s office before you start a controlled burn. Plus, Chief Huls reminds you to have fire extinguishing equipment ready, like shovels, a disk, and so forth, just in case.
File photo (not the actual turbine in question)