Harvest season means fire threat in farm fields - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Harvest season means fire threat in farm fields

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We're getting closer and closer to the official start of fall, and that means a busy time for farmers and firefighters. We're getting closer and closer to the official start of fall, and that means a busy time for farmers and firefighters.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

We're getting closer and closer to the official start of fall, and that means a busy time for farmers and firefighters.

Harvest season usually means a couple of things, dry ground and wind.

The perfect recipe for fires in farm fields.

"This year, we're doing a harvest earlier, during hotter, drier weather with little precip. We've hardly got any precip during this harvest so far. Precip chances aren't really great going forward for our area," said Gary Brown, Woodbury County Emergency Manager.

But weather is only one part of the equation.

"Every year we do see several combine fires or farm harvest equipment pieces of machinery that start fires," said Brown.

Hot machinery acts as a lighter, and with windy conditions, fire can spread rapidly.

Unfortunately, they usually happen during the day, making it difficult for rural fire departments to respond.

"We're not at our maximum staffing capability because a lot of the volunteer fire department people leave and go into different towns or into different locations to work. So during the daytime, it's tough to get large fire crews together in some areas of the region," said Brown.

But the good news is that while some things are beyond our control, starting a fire like this can often be prevented.

"Keep it clean. Keep it in good repair. Make sure your bearings are well greased, chains and chains on the machine are kept oiled, keep the heat build-up down on those," said Brown.

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