Rock Valley, Iowa — The Rock Valley Fire Department has had a busy couple of days with three fire calls in two days.
The biggest one was when 45 acres of corn stubble burned in a fire on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 near Rock Valley.
According to Rock Valley Fire Chief Brent Eshuis, about 1:35 p.m., the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of a field fire at Dogwood Ave and 325th Street, three miles southwest of Rock Valley. The chief says the fire department saw the field on fire as they approached the scene.
He says it looked like they had picked the cornfield for ground ear corn, so there were lots of stalks. He says the farmer was in the middle of stalk chopping when the fire started.
Eshuis says no injuries were reported.
The fire department was assisted by the Hull Fire Department who brought a grass rig, the Sioux Center Fire Department, who brought a tanker and a grass rig, and the Hudson Fire Department, who also brought a tanker and a grass rig. Three farmers also used tractors and disks to fight the progress of the fire.
He says the cause of the fire appeared to be something hot on the stalk chopper or maybe a spark from hitting a rock. He says no equipment was burned in the fire, and that only corn stubble was damaged.
Eshuis says they used 4,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for an hour and a half.
He says the Rock Valley Fire Department responded to two calls on the previous day. The first one came in about 12:25 p.m. He says this was also a field fire, but it was much smaller. He says it was likely caused by hot exhaust. He says it was in corn stubble between two areas of standing corn, but due to calm winds, it didn’t spread. He says they were able to put it out using only 50 to 100 gallons of water.
The other fire call was a few minutes before 6 p.m. that day. The call was of a propane tank on fire at 1718 15th Street in Rock Valley. But Eshuis says when they got there they discovered that someone had started grill on a deck, and somehow grease was burning between the bottom of the grill and the grill’s propane tank. He says by the time they got there it was out and the grill had been moved away from the house and was disconnected from the propane tank.