Brushfires scorched four-thousand acres of grassland in southwest Iowa Sunday afternoon. At least 18 area fire departments responded including every department in Pottawattamie County, the eastern side of which was burning. Carson Fire Chief Jeff Sauer coordinated the 200-some firefighters and says the whipping winds worked against them.Sauer says they wet down ditches and tried to protect what structures they could but “it was just moving so fast, we just couldn’t keep ahead of it. The fire was way too intense.” No towns were threatened by the flames but four rural homes were burned, along with a number of farm outbuildings and barns. A number of residents were evacuated. The chief says rural residents tried to lend a hand. Farmers were using their tractors to disc some areas of land, which helped. The flames did approach several communities, including Treynor, Griswold and Oakland. Sauer says Mother Nature did not cooperate. Two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion. After seven hours of battle, most of the grassfires were under control by eight o’clock last night. Fire crews were called out three more times during the night to extinguish blazes that were rekindled by the wind.
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