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Dry conditions raise risk for rural fires

Dry conditions raise the risk for rural fires.

rural fire call
The Jamestown Rural Fire Department along with two units from the Jamestown Fire Department extinguished this fire on Saturday, July 17. Conditions are extremely dry, said Brian Paulson, chief of the Jamestown Rural Fire Department. Photo courtesy Rylee Whoel, Jamestown Rural Fire Department / Special to The Sun
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The Jamestown Rural Fire Department hit its 100th call for the year on Saturday, said Brian Paulson, chief.

The Jamestown Rural Fire Department was dispatched to a report of farm equipment on fire at 3:45 p.m. near 3349 82nd Ave. SE.

Paulson said when firefighters arrived the fire had spread to pasture land; damage to the farm equipment, a swather, was minimal.

“The main concern was the farmstead that this was kind of running toward so we were able to knock it down so it went around the farmstead,” he said.

Eight JRFD fire trucks and 19 firefighters fought the blaze along with six firefighters and two units from the Jamestown Fire Department, Paulson said. They were at the scene for 3 ½ hours, he said.

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Forty acres of pasture land burned but no structures were lost and no injuries were reported, he said.

Paulson said a week ago, the department responded to a few grass fires that he considers more “routine,” in that they were slow moving and manageable. That’s not the case now, he said.

“... we’re right back into it where we were a month ago where it was extremely dry,” he said. “These fires just, they take off and they’re rapid. They just move fast.”

He said farmers who need to do maintenance on equipment need to move it from a pasture to a road because the risk of fire is great.

“It’s so dry out there right now that it’s dangerous,” Paulson said. “It’s a very dangerous time for everybody out there.”

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