Wind, harvest activity increases fire danger

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Area firefighters have been busy this past week responding to a grass fire, a combine fire and a rural garbage fire that threatened a nearby corn field.

Windy conditions along with clear skies over the past 10 days have helped dry out crops and soils allowing the fall harvest to progress rapidly.

However, one danger has been steadily increasing with the dry, windy days – the chance for a fire to start in a field or in a piece of machinery.

Benson’s Fire Department has responded to three fires in four days and has been joined by fire crews from Danvers and Clontarf.

Monday a John Deere combine that had been harvesting soybeans in Section 27 of Pope County’s Langhei Township north of Benson caught fire. By the time the fire department arrived, it was engulfed in flames. The black smoke billowing from the charred combine was flattened out in a long trail rushing to the southeast pushed by a northwest wind gusting to 30 mph.

Earlier Monday the fire departments had been called to a fire near Danvers. A garbage fire had gotten out of control and was threatening a nearby corn field.

Friday Benson, Clontarf and Danvers firemen fought a blaze that that had started in a nearly completed soybean field then quickly entered a Conservation Reserve Program grassland. With winds gusting to nearly 40 mph Friday, the dry shoulder-high grasses quickly ignited with the fire rushing to the southeast.

There is rain in the forecast later this week, but until then a heightened awareness of the fire danger, causes and what to do should one start is required....

 

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Pictured: Area firefighters have been busy this past week responding to a grass fire, a combine fire and a rural garbage fire that threatened a nearby corn field.

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