Firefighters went back to a central Iowa shooting range today to deal with the flare-up of fire that’s apparently been smoldering there since Friday. Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mick Klemsrud says somehow late Friday a berm made of rubber tires at the Charles "Butch" Olofson shooting range north of Polk City caught fire.
"We’re pretty sure it was sparked by one of the rounds that was fired there," Klemsrud says. "…What we’re just trying to do is identify when it happened, how it happened — just kind of fill in the blanks." The berm is made of baled tires and is a sort of bullet trap behind a target at the state-owned shooting range.
Once those tires caught fire, the flames and heat from the blaze were intense and three area fire departments were called in to try to knock down the tire fire. "(Tires) are very difficult to extinguish, as we’re finding out now. This happened on Friday, in the evening, and we had a flare up again today," Klemsrud says. "We had fire departments on the scene for another hour today and we’re hopeful it’s taken care of." The Charles "Butch" Olofson shooting range is adjacent to Big Creek State Park, in northern Polk County. The three adjacent shooting ranges remain open.