Tri-States could see increased risk of field fires
QUINCY (WGEM) - Dry conditions, extreme heat and harvest time have created an increased risk of fire in the Tri-States.
Most of the Tri-States is experiencing either severe or extreme drought right now, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
That’s why all Tri-State residents are asked to be extra vigilant this fall.
Earlier this month, firefighters battled burning straw bales at a West Quincy straw maze.
“Sometimes these are harder than structure fires,” Palmyra Fire Department Chief Gary Crane said.
One week later, firefighters battled an early-morning barn fire in Fowler, Illinois.
Unfortunately, a local crop specialist said we could see more of these types of fires this fall.
“The biggest problem we’re going to see right now is increased risk of fire in corn and soybean fields, because of the dry weather, and an increase in the amount of dust on combines,” Retired crop specialist Mike Roegge said. “That could increase field fires.”
Roegge said it’s been more than 10 years since the Tri-States has experienced a severe drought.
“We’ve never experienced a year like this,” he said. “We didn’t have this issue at all because in 2012. We had plenty of moisture until July, but we didn’t see the seriousness of issues in 2012 that we’re seeing this year in 2023.”
National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8 to Oct. 14.
The National Fire Protection Association has been observing the week for more than 100 years.
It’s observed during the week of Oct. 9 to commemorate the date of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
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