November 30, 2017 - 9:32 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — With the dry and relatively warm November that we had, area fire departments have been busy.

For instance, the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called out twice this week, and the George Fire Department was called out three times, all on Wednesday. Fire departments from Ireton, Hull, Rock Valley, Sanborn, and other towns have been out fighting fires this week as well.

According to the weather information that we recorded at the KIWA weather center, Sheldon only received nine-hundredths of an inch of rain in November, and no snow. The first and only recorded snowfall this season so far was two-tenths of an inch on October 28th. So it has been quite dry.

Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck says with these dry conditions it’s even more important to call in any controlled burns. He says one of the calls they responded to on Wednesday was actually a controlled burn of grass in a ditch. But it was called in as a fire, and the fire department responded. He says in Lyon County, as in many other counties, they have a system in which people can call the Sheriff’s Office and tell the dispatcher that they plan on burning a ditch, or what-have-you, and they’ll make a note of it. That way if someone calls in a fire, it can be checked against the list of controlled burns before the fire department is paged.

Reck says, for that matter, now is not an ideal time for controlled burns anyway, with the dry weather we’ve been having. He says especially if it’s windy, that’s a recipe for disaster. He says there is no burning ban in effect, but he urges caution.

George Fire Chief Bill Sprock echoes those comments. He says it’s very dry and fires are spreading very easily right now. In addition, Sprock says winter fireworks will go on sale shortly, and if we don’t get any moisture before then — and it doesn’t sound like we’re going to — fireworks could be even more dangerous than usual, so be very cautious.

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