Multiple fire crews and other first responders battled a blaze that spread through fields and structures Friday afternoon.
Shortly before 10:45 a.m. Friday, both the Nichols and West Liberty Fire Departments were dispatched to the 1900 block of Mound Avenue for a report of hay bales on fire. Both departments extinguished the fire and returned to quarters by 1 p.m., according to a news release from the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office.
About 2:14 p.m., Muscatine Communications Dispatchers (MUSCOM) received numerous 911 calls directing fire crews to an area north of the first address. Over the course of the next six to seven hours, numerous fire departments fought field and structure fires that had been driven by high winds, the release says.
About 9 p.m., the last of the fire departments cleared the scene.
While initial reports of numerous residences being damaged by fire proved to be false, several farm buildings and pieces of equipment were either damaged or destroyed, the release says.
Fire departments/first responders assisting at the scene were from Durant, Wilton, Atalissa, West Liberty, Nichols, Conesville, Columbus Junction, Letts, Fruitland, Montpelier, Wapello, West Branch, Tipton, and Muscatine, as well as deputies and reserve deputies from the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office.
“Special thanks should be given to the Brauns Excavating, Heuer Construction, Midtown Towing, Alliant Energy, Muscatine Power and Water, MidAmerican (Energy), and the countless area farmers, friends, and families that either assisted or supported the efforts to bring this incident under control. Without that support, this incident would have deteriorated rapidly, causing considerably more damage,” the release says.
According to the release, the incident remains under investigation by the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office and further details may be released once they are received.