A large hog barn was destroyed by fire early this (Friday) morning in northwest Iowa’s Plymouth County, wiping out a herd of 350 pigs.
The blaze hit Jordan Dirksen’s two-story barn near Oyens) about 2 A-M. Oyens Fire Chief Brian Juhl says as soon as fire crews got to the scene, they knew they had their hands full. “When we arrived, we had fire visibly showing and coming out of the second floor which was full of straw,” Chief Juhl says. “Also, when we opened it up, we had fire on the main floor.” The Le Mars fire department also responded.
Firefighters tried to save the 70-year-old barn, but Juhl says they soon learned their efforts were futile. “When we first got on scene, we were trying to see if we could knock it down quick but it didn’t take long for us to realize we’re not going to be able to knock it down with it being full of straw up in the loft,” he says. “We went on the defensive, trying to control how it burns.” The fire was kept from a propane tank and after about two hours, the barn collapsed. No human injuries are reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers says he’s been getting several inquiries from citizens about the Page County Burn Ban that was put into effect earlier this week. Brothers says the City of Clarinda’s Ordinance states that during a burn ban the only type of burning allowed is:
OUTDOOR COOKING FIRES. Outdoor Cooking fires (barbecue grills) burning common cooking fuels such as natural and/or LP gas or charcoal being use for the cooking of food for human consumption are permitted, but that open ground fire pits cannot be used. Any other type of open burning is strictly prohibited and absolutely no recreational fires are allowed.
In simple terms, you can can cook burgers, brats, steaks and hotdogs on the grill, but any other type of open burning remains illegal as long as the burn ban is in place. If you have any questions, please contact the Clarinda Police Department or Clarinda Fire Department.
A pair of national hunting organizations is announcing plans to hold their annual joint expo in Iowa next year. Des Moines is the 2015 host for the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic. Rehan Nana is a spokesman for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Iowa has a great outdoor heritage and this is our third time we’re going to be in Iowa for National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic,” Nana says. “It’s the only city we’ve been in three times and we had such a great time the past two, we want to make it back for number three.”
It was a natural move to return to the Hawkeye State for the event, he says, as Iowa has more chapters of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever than any other state — 104 chapters — with some 20-thousand members. “If you’re a pheasant hunter, if you’re an outdoors person at all, this is the best show for you,” Nana says. “Really from wild game cooking to bird dogs to habitat conservation and habitat management, all things under the sun.” Last month, Milwaukee hosted this year’s show. Des Moines last hosted the show in 2010. At that event, U-S Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Conservation Reserve Program general signup #39. That C-R-P effort has served as one of the U-S-D-A’s most successful conservation programs.
Nana says a significant sum of money has been invested in wildlife habitat projects in Iowa through the years. “Since 1985, there’s been over $45-million spent in Iowa based on all of our chapters’ efforts for over 111,000 habitat projects. That’s more than 1.1-million acres for wildlife there.” The event is planned for Iowa’s capitol city February 20-22 of 2015. Learn more at the website: www.pheasantfest.org
Shelby County Emergency Management officials have lowered the county’s fire danger rating from High to “Moderate.” EMA Coordinator Bob Seivert says cooler temperatures, recent and expected moisture will provide a small window for this weekend.
If you have a pile of brush or waste to burn, please call the EMA at 755-2124 and contact your local Fire Chief, so that we are aware of the location and nature of the controlled burn. Please be aware that your city ordinances regarding burn times, and open burning, are all in effect.
Shelby County will offer the Certified Handlers Continuing Instructional Course (CIC) Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The program will be shown across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pest Management and the Environment program (PME).
The local attendance site is 906 6th St., Harlan. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the course runs from 9 to 11 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before March 19 and $45 after March 19. To register or obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Shelby County by calling 712-755-3104.
The course will provide continuing instructional credit for certified handlers. Topics to be covered include effects of pesticides on groundwater and other non-target sites; responding to spills and accidents; secondary containment requirements; pesticide container handling and disposal; and non-target injury and community problems associated with pesticide handling facilities.
Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses offered by the PME program can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PME/.
Cass County Youth Coordinator Beth Irlbeck says the County 4-H Clubs invite the public to attend their annual 4-H Mardi Gras carnival on Sunday, March 23rd. Irlbeck say “Mardi Gras includes fun, food, & carnival-type games for kids of all ages. The event is scheduled from 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic. We are so excited to offer many activities for families.”
Booths at this year’s Mardi Gras will include: Bear Grove Blazers- 4-H bucket pong; Benton Franklin – color wheel of fortune; Brighton – Skeeball; Cowpokes – Boot Bag Toss; G & L Clovers – walking taco foodstand; Griswold Clubsters – Plinko; Grant Guys & Gals –Ring Toss; Grove H.O.T – TP Basketball; Pleasant Noble United – Cake/Dessert Walk; Pymosa – Dart Throw; Union Leaders – box tunnels; Washington GEM – Pop Floats and much more.
The Youth Action Committee and Youth Council are sponsoring this county-wide event and are inviting all Cass County families to come out and join the fun. Admission is just 50-cents per person and tickets cost 10-cents each. Each 4-H club determines how many tickets to charge to play their game. All proceeds from this event go to the 4-H clubs and the Youth Council. For more information, call 712-243-1132.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say 2013 was another year of safe hunting in the state. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says no fatalities were recorded last year during hunting seasons. However, there were 11 injuries and six cases of property damage.
Megan Wisecup, safety education programs coordinator, says there’s been a trend of self-inflicted incidents over the last four to five years. Officials recommend that hunters remember basic firearm handling.
Wisecup says mandatory hunter education courses are part of a drastic drop in hunting incidents. In the 1960s, officials recorded more than 100 incidents and up to 20 fatalities a year.
Two more counties are being be added to the list of counties in the KJAN listening area which have called for a ban on open burning. A Burn Ban went into effect at 10-a.m. Tuesday, for Fremont County. Later that same day, emergency management officials in Page, Pottawattamie and Montgomery Counties announced Burn Bans would be in effect in those counties beginning at 8-a.m. today (Wednesday). The bans will remain in effect until further notice.
The current dry conditions throughout the region have caused an increase in fire responses throughout eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. As dry conditions persist, dead and drying vegetation is the perfect fuel to spread fires rapidly. Pottawattamie County EMA Director Doug Reed says Pott. County “Has seen the devastating effects of fire in extreme conditions and we want to do everything we can to help mitigate an incident like that from occurring.”
During these dry conditions, citizens are reminded to not throw out cigarettes from moving vehicles and to discontinue burning yard waste, piled tree debris or other items during the ban. Small recreational camp fires are permitted only if they are conducted in a fire place of brick, metal or heavy one-inch wire mesh. Any camp fire not in an outdoor fire place is prohibited.
Violation of a burn ban can subject a person to citation or arrest for reckless use of fire or disobeying a burn ban.