It’s crop-burning season for some farmers in Iowa and Illinois and with recent windy weather conditions, controlled fires have been getting out of hand.
“He was burning off to the west and the wind just took it east and it got away.”Just a gust a wind, that’s all it takes for a controlled fire to spiral into something more grave.Kathy Henningsen’s husband witnessed this first hand last week.
That’s when the Donahue Fire Department stepped in.
“Its important to put some fore thought into what you are doing otherwise when it gets out of control theres time between when you’re calling 911 and the time the fire department can get out there that its gonna get more out of control,” says Ken Schoenthaler, assistant Chief of the Donahue Fire Department.
So why burn the fields? One of the reasons for burning the fields is so that crops grow faster. The black ash helps attract the sun which then helps the plants sprout a lot quicker.
The ash also acts as a fertilzer.The burned crops also keeps unwanted guests away from the field, like pheasants and quails. “You want to get the burnt before the nesting season starts,” says Chief Schoenthaler. He says he’s gotten a lot more calls to take controlled fires than last year.That’s largely due to weather conditions not being as wet.
He is advising others to call local fire departments to help maintain control before it can become fatal.