A dry harvest season brings risks for field fires - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A dry harvest season brings risks for field fires

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Harvest season has begun across the state of Iowa. Local farmer, Scott Beenken, hasn't begun harvesting his crops yet but he's preparing his equipment for the season. Field fires are one concern Beenken deals with every harvest.

"With more dry material out there, I think there's a lot more dry grass than there has been in the past. I don't know that there's more or less than in times past but every fall we take a little bit of precaution for it," said Beenken.

The main culprit of field fires is farm equipment. Beenken takes certain steps every year to avoid equipment fires.

"Just make sure your fire extinguishers are charged. Clean equipment up and fuel and oil leaks are the biggest cause," Beeken.

Farmers aren't the only ones preparing for the dry harvest season. Evansdale fire chief Kent Smock will be watching this year closely.

"Because of the extreme drought conditions that we experienced all summer long, the vegetation that normally would be green and help keep fires from spreading is very susceptible to burning," said Smock.

Smock encourages farmers to keep fire extinguishers on board machines and to use common sense. If a fire does flare up, one common piece of farm equipment can assist fire departments.

 "The best tool for us is that farmer's disk. We can create farm, fire breaks and keep the fire from spreading beyond a certain area," Smock said.

Dry, windy days contribute to rapid fire growth. Calling 911 immediately is a crucial step.

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