Officials with the Atlantic Fire Department put out a plea on their social media website, asking residents not to do any open burning “Of any type, or discard of any smoking material. This includes burning trash!!” Recent and continuing high, sustained winds and dry conditions have contributed to many fires across southwest Iowa. The AFVD says they hope that by spreading the word on open burning and being safe in discarding smoking materials, and will voluntary compliance, authorities will not have to issue a Burn Ban.
A carelessly discarded cigarette from a passing vehicle is being blamed for a large grass fire that occurred Monday afternoon north of Interstate 80, in Adair County. Adair Fire Chief Jordan Smith told KJAN News the fire started about two-miles east of the Adair Exit (77.5-mile marker) and was first paged out just before 3-pm, Monday. Smith said with the way the wind was blowing, the fire burned east-northeast along and north of the Interstate for about 2-miles. Firefighters managed to get the flames knocked down before they reached the westbound rest area, but not before the fire jumped 2 gravels roads as it raged eastward.
After the flames jumped one gravel road, and destroyed large, round hay bales. He said 50-to 60 bales were lost. Smith said hay bale fires are almost impossible to extinguish unless you spread them out and hose them down, which is dangerous and time consuming. A neighboring farmer who has construction equipment used his excavator and dug a big hole to dump the bales in and cover them up, allow the fire to be snuffed out.
Three firefighters from Adair suffered minor injuries while fighting the blaze. Smith says two had smoke inhalation, with another had minor burns to his face. The thick curtain of smoke created problems for motorists along Interstate 80. Visibility along the interstate was down to zero at time. Several law enforcement agencies were requested for traffic control. The eye-catching fire also attracted “rubber-neckers,” who Smith says can be a real hindrance to fire fighting efforts, and endanger lives.
Smith says firefighters from Adair, Casey, Stuart, Menlo, Anita, Wiota, Greenfield, Bridgewater, and Fontanelle were on the scene for about 5-hours, finally wrapping things up at around 8-pm, Monday.
The Fire Danger signs throughout Shelby County will remain in the HIGH category this week. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says although the County experienced some precipitation (.30”) in the last 24 hours, the placards will remain in the HIGH category due to predicted winds, and lower Relative Humidity today.
Seivert says until we get more green grasses growing, the fine dead fuels will continue to pose a HIGH fire danger with wind, and low humidity. Officials are asking residents to postpone burning until at least Thursday.
If you must burn, contact your local Fire Chief to make sure that are made aware, and provides authorization for the burn. If a burn is allowed to occur we ask the Chief to call 712-755-2124 and advise the Communications Center that a burn will take place.
AREA COUNTIES: SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD
415 AM CDT MON MAR 31 2014
STRONG SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH…WITH GUSTS NEAR 45 MPH
AT TIMES…WILL DEVELOP BY NOON AND CONTINUE THROUGH MUCH OF THE
IN ADDITION…RATHER DRY AIR IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR ACROSS THE AREA
THIS AFTERNOON WITH RELATIVE HUMIDITY FALLING TO AROUND 25 TO 35
PERCENT AT TIMES FROM 1 PM THROUGH EARLY EVENING. THIS WILL LEAD
TO AN ENHANCED FIRE DANGER…WITH ANY FIRES THAT START EXPECTED TO
SPREAD RAPIDLY. OUTDOOR BURNING OF ANY KIND IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED
TODAY INTO THE EARLY EVENING.
AREA COUNTIES: POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT-PAGE
A RED FLAG WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 4 PM TODAY FOR WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY FOR PARTS OF EASTERN NEBRASKA AND WESTERN IOWA. THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING FOR WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY.
* WINDS…SOUTHWEST 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH.
* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AS LOW AS 15 T0 25 PERCENT.
* IMPACTS…VEGETATION IS VERY DRY ACROSS THE AREA. WITH LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…GUSTY WINDS…AND DRY FUELS…FIRES CAN IGNITE AND SPREAD QUICKLY.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR.
Today: Wind Advisory in effect from Noon until 7-pm. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 9am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 71. Windy, with a south wind 22 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.
Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 24. Wind chill values as low as 10. Windy, with a west wind 23 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 45. Breezy, with a northwest wind 13 to 18 mph decreasing to 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph.
Tue.Night: A 20 percent chance of showers after 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 33. Northeast wind 6 to 9 mph.
Wednesday: Showers likely, mainly after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 45. Breezy, with an east northeast wind 10 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Wed. Night: A 40 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 35. Breezy. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Thursday: A 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 47. Breezy.
COUNTIES: AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD 358 AM CDT MON MAR 31 2014
WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING.
353 AM CDT MON MAR 31 2014
WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 10 PM CDT THIS EVENING.
* TIMING…STRONG WINDS WILL DEVELOP BY LATE MORNING AND INCREASE
INTO THE AFTERNOON HOURS. A SECONDARY COLD FRONT WILL KEEP WINDS
* WINDS…SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH
ARE EXPECTED, WITH THE STRONGER WINDS IN THE FAR WEST/SW COUNTIES.
* IMPACTS…WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…
ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. LOOSE OR UNSECURED OBJECTS
WILL BLOW AROUND EASILY AND MAY CAUSE DAMAGE OR INJURY. IN
ADDITION…DUE TO THE WARM TEMPERATURES…OUTDOOR BURNING OF
ANY KIND IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED THIS AFTERNOON BECAUSE THE STRONG
WINDS MAY QUICKLY CAUSE ANY FIRE TO GET OUT OF CONTROL.
A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS
THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH
PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.
POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY COUNTIES: WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT MONDAY FROM 10-A.M. UNTIL 10-P.M.
MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY COUNTIES: WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON MONDAY TO 1 AM CDT TUESDAY.
* TIMING…WINDS WILL INCREASE BY NOON MONDAY AND WILL LINGER UNTIL AROUND MIDNIGHT TOMORROW NIGHT.
* WINDS…SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS INCREASING MONDAY MORNING TO AROUND 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH…BECOMING WEST…THEN NORTHWEST BY MONDAY EVENING.
* IMPACTS…WINDS THIS STRONG WILL MAKE DRIVING OF HIGH PROFILE OR LIGHT VEHICLES DIFFICULT ON EAST TO WEST ROADS. BLOWING DUST AND OTHER DEBRIS COULD REDUCE VISIBILITIES…ESPECIALLY IN OPEN AREAS. LOOSE OBJECTS SUCH AS GARBAGE CANS WILL BE TOSSED AROUND.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS BETWEEN 30 TO 39 MPH OR GUSTS BETWEEN 45 TO 57 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.