Field fires flare up

Sarah Ebeling | Managing Editor
With fall comes many things in the Midwest — cooler temperatures, leaves changing colors and much more. On the top of the list for farmers is harvest. Farmers work for months, preparing the ground in early spring in hopes of being able to reap what they sow by the fall.
And this year is no different. Except when it comes to how incredibly dry it is. Many parts of southeast South Dakota have not seen significant moisture in weeks. According to the National Weather Service, data says that in the past 60 days, Turner County has only seen a couple inches of rain, exacerbating the problem.
In the past couple of weeks, area fire departments have responded to several calls in which farmers were working in the field and something sparked a fire that quickly raged out of control due to the dry and windy conditions. Locally, in Parker, fire chief Max Masters said that his department has responded to seven calls in the past two weeks.
“All the departments in the area get stretched pretty thin this time of year, and once you throw a drought on top of it, it gets more serious,” said Masters.
He noted that they are very lucky to have so many farmers in the area willing to do whatever they can to help out in fire situations.
“It’s so dry right now all of us are nervous.  Please make sure you have a working fire extinguisher with your equipment and a disk hooked up if available,” said Masters.

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