Burn Restrictions Possible With Dry Conditions

Oskaloosa, Eddyville and New Sharong fire departments fought this large grass fire west of Oskaloosa on Tuesday afternoon.

Oskaloosa, Eddyville and New Sharon fire departments fought this large grass fire west of Oskaloosa on Tuesday afternoon.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Dry conditions and a wind that picked up in the afternoon helped to cause one of the largest grass fires of the season Tuesday afternoon just west of Oskaloosa.

Four apparatuses from Oskaloosa, which included its two brush trucks, along with a brush truck and tanker from Eddyville Fire Department and assistance from New Sharon Fire Department and their brush truck, with nearly fourteen firefighters total. It took nearly 3 hours to contain the fire which at one point threatened to leap across Highway 92.

Fighting the fire was compounded by the variable winds, which had “fire going three different directions”, said Oskaloosa Fire Chief Mark Neff.

While the OFD was still fighting the hotspots at the first fire, they were called to yet another grass fire.

The fire happened on ground where Binns & Stevens Explosives stores product. The bunkers were secure and according to Neff there was no real threat of an explosion caused by the fire. “The way the fire was moving, it was moving away from those bunkers”, said Neff.

Oskaloosa Fire Chief Mark Neff said that he will be holding a conversation with the other area chiefs Wednesday and he believes that some type of burn ban or burning restrictions will happen in the near future. Neff understands that there are situations where burning is necessary, and a variance would be obtainable from the fire department for those situations. “What I don’t want to do is completely ban people out there that are trying to do work”, said Neff.

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