Grass fire east of Charles City contained by CCFD

By Kelly Terpstra,

Controlled grass fires are a common site along the rural roadways during springtime in Iowa.

One such burn east of Charles City late Monday afternoon grew a little larger than the property owner had intended.

Rick Hockenson, of 1918 Triumph Avenue in Charles City, saw the wind take his controlled burn in a ditch and threaten to engulf a corn field adjacent to the fenceline on his property.

“I went out over on the ditch and it jumped out on me,” said Hockenson.

The Charles City Fire Department responded to the grass fire, and extinguished the blaze in about 15 minutes, according to firefighter Curt Teeter.

“That’s what happens. That wind comes up there and it just takes off,” said Teeter. “If we would have been able to get back in here — but I don’t want to bury a truck — we would have just used water. We’ve got brooms and we tap it out or use a rake.”

Firefighters also utilized portable fire extinguishers, which are essentially pressurized canisters filled with water, to spray on the area to keep the hot embers at bay.

“It got above the ditch line and the wind took it,” said firefighter Jason Webster. “I think Nashua had two or three this week.”

Teeter said the soil is still damp enough that the cornfield more than likely would not have caught fire under the current spring conditions.