Field Fire near I-80 Tuesday evening in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Atlantic, along with tanker support from Brayton, were able to quickly knock down a field fire Tuesday evening. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees says the call about the fire southeast of the Interstate 80/Highway 71 interchange, came in just after 5-p.m., from Delbert Westphalen, who was working the area with his combine. McNees said Westphalen had completed the end rows when he noticed the fire. He used both fire extinguishers on his combine to try and put out the flames, but with the windy conditions, a six-foot circle had burned out of control, quickly.

McNees said they received some assistance in keeping the flames from spreading, not only from the Brayton Fire Department, but from a local farmer. He happened to be passing by, and was flagged down to have his disc implement used to control the spread of fire, along with another disc implement that was on the scene already. McNees said farmers need to have disc equipment standing by in the event a field fire should occur, and it’s wise to take precautions before they begin to harvest the crops.

He says they’ve been telling people to disc around the planned harvest area, so if flames do erupt, it will keep them within that field and not spread to other fields or property. About 4 ½ acres were lost to the flames. McNees said it appears a spark from the implement hitting a rock may have caused the fire.