Thursday’s high winds helped fuel a large field fire in northern Iowa’s Hancock County. Kanawha Fire Chief J.R. Langfitt says they were called out to three different field fires, with the largest one being started by a combine at about 1:45 P.M. west of Kanawha. Chief Langfitt called for help from at least eight other area fire departments.
Lanfitt says the Corwith and Wesley fire departments were immediately paged out to the fire, along with the Britt, Garner, Klemme, Goodell, Belmond and Renwick being called in to assist shortly after. He says farmers also helped their departments, bringing out rippers to help set up a fire break to contain the fire.
Langfitt says the 50-to-60 mile an hour winds caused the fire to rapidly expand. He says it eventually grew to two miles wide and one mile long. Firefighters had troubles getting in front of the fire fast enough. He says the winds helped provide oxygen to the fire and caused it to hop across roads.
Langfitt says it’s fortunate no homes or buildings were damaged in the fire. He says there were two dwellings that were close to the field fire but there was no damage to any property. Langfitt warns farmers to check the weather conditions a bit more closely in the coming weeks before heading out into the fields.
He says on windy days, farmers need to use some caution and wait until the wind calms down a little bit.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City