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Friday, May 6, 2016

High winds fan fires across Northwest Iowa

Monday, October 3, 2011

(Photo)
Fire departments from Pierson, Marcus, Cleghorn, Meriden, Quimby, and Washta kept busy when they responded to three different fires in the Southwest part of Cherokee County on Thursday. The fires were extremly dangerous due to the dry conditions and high winds. Photo by Ron Flewelling [Order this photo]
There were numerous field fires that occured in Northwest Iowa on Thursday, including several in Cherokee County.

Fire departments from Pierson, Marcus, Cleghorn, Meriden, Quimby, and Washta kept busy when they responded to three different fires in the Southwest part of Cherokee County, along with another fire that the Cleghorn and Meriden Fire Departments responded to near Cleghorn.

The Cherokee Fire and Rescue assisted the Larrabee Fire Department with a field fire North of Cherokee. The Aurielia Fire Department assisted the Alta Fire Department with a field fire in the Southeast part of Cherokee County.

Cherokee County wasn't the only county experiencing hot spots as numerous 911 fire calls were reported in fields/farms and vehicles on fire throughout Northwest Iowa mainly due to high winds that blanketed the area, with peak gusts to 50 mph.

It has been reported that the O'Brien County Dispatch at approximately 1 p.m. was summoned for Mutual Aid assist at 3126 Yew Avenue in O'Brien County, Northwest of Everly.

Assisting O'Brien County area Fire Departments were Everly, Fostoria, Royal and Spencer Fire/Rescue, Iowa State Patrol, Spencer Ambulance, several area farmers, and the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

That fire reportedly engulfed a house and pickup in O'Brien County. The fire continued into Clay County and burned several acres Northwest of Everly in the area of Dave's Sand and Gravel, before being brought under control.

O'Brien County Sheriff Michael Anderson stated, "We had fire departments from Sheldon, Sanborn, Hartley, Sutherland, Calumet and Paullina all out fighting fires."

Anderson also added that several farm combines were burned Thursday, but no injuries were reported.

"Those combines run hot, and dry leaves get up into the machinery and it can cause fires," stated Anderson.

The ground has been dry over most of Iowa this summer after the state received only about half of its normal rainfall.

The harvest season in recent years has been accompanied by wet rather than dry conditions, but this year is different.

Doug Gochenour of the Cherokee Fire and Rescue gave this following advice to the public, "Try not to do any burning, especially brush piles. As dry as it is right now and if the wind comes up, it isn't going to be good."

Farmers have also been cautioned in several counties to delay combining their crops if at all possible due to the extreme dry conditions.



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