IVFD responds to two hay bale fires last week
Hot and dry weather in southwest Nebraska is causing more fires to spring up in the area.
On June 24 at 6:15 p.m., the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD) responded to a fire west of Imperial on ground owned by John and Theresa Schilke.
Schilke’s ground hay pile of about 140-150 bales caught fire and moved into the silage pile.
The entire IVFD fleet responded to the fire.
“Our main goal was to keep the whole silage pile from going up,” IVFD 2nd Asst. Chief Kelsey Weiss said.
“When we arrived there was probably a good quarter of the silage on fire,” he said. “So we set up our trucks and stopped the progression of fire from spreading.”
Weiss is unsure how the fire started.
Elisa Large, a neighbor of the Schilkes, commended the IVFD firefighters for their hard work.
“For every day you go to work and serve our community I don’t believe you truly get the thanks you deserve,” she said. “So right up front I want to say ‘thank you.’”
Large’s husband, Dale, and other neighbors brought in extra trucks of water to help.
Last Thursday at 10:52 a.m., IVFD responded to a hay bale fire in Dundy County on land owned by Shawn Jones.
IVFD Chief Doug Mitchell said the bales were lined up by the highway when a power line broke and sparked a fire in the bales.
Jones was attempting to put out the fire when IVFD and trucks from Lamar arrived.
As of Monday, the bales were all burned down “but some were still smoldering and smoking,” Mitchell said. “They are keeping a good watch on it.”
With weather conditions not looking great for the Fourth of July, Mitchell advises Chase County residents to be cautious because of the dryness.
“The extended forecast shows it’s going to be hot and dry,” Mitchell said. “Everybody’s going to have to be very careful.”
Nebraska has an open burning ban, and there are no local permits being issued at this time.