Iowa’s weather has cooled off significantly in the past few days, but conditions are still extremely dry. Bans on open burning are now in effect in seven Iowa counties.
Dan Wood, with the Iowa Fire Prevention Bureau, is urging residents to be extremely careful with fire, even in places where there isn’t a ban. Fire chiefs and emergency managers get together and assess the threat, he says, especially with crops drying and the danger from people intentionally setting fire to weeds in ditches or fields.
Looking at the forecast, which only calls for a few scattered showers, Wood says it’s likely more counties will ask the Fire Prevention Bureau to approve more burn bans. “When conditions are drier than normal and things are dry, fire tends to move faster and it’s easier to catch things on fire simply because there’s no moisture in the ground and there’s no moisture in the leaves and grass,” Wood says. “It’s easier for things to catch on fire and it moves quicker and can really get away from you.” Wood says each individual county and fire protection district will decide when to end their bans on open burning.
The current list includes: Audubon, Calhoun, Clinton, Greene, Muscatine, Scott, and Webster.