Wind-driven fire damages farm buildings, equipment on Friday

On Friday, October 21, 2022, both the Nichols and West Liberty Fire Departments were dispatched to the area of 1980 Mound Avenue for a report of hay bales on fire. Both departments extinguished the fire and returned to quarters by 1300 hours.

At or about 1414 hours, Muscatine Communications Dispatchers (MUSCOM, received numerous E911 calls directing fire crews to an area north of the aforementioned address.  Over the course of the next 6-7 hours, numerous fire departments fought field and structure fires that had been driven by high winds.  At or about 2100 hours, the last of the fire departments cleared the scene and returned to quarters.

While initial reports of numerous residences being damaged by fire proved to be false, several farm buildings and pieces of equipment were either damaged or destroyed.

Those assisting with this incident include fire departments/first responders from Durant, Wilton, Atalissa, West Liberty, Nichols, Conesville, Columbus Junction, Letts, Fruitland, Montpelier, Wapello, West Branch, Tipton, and Muscatine as well as deputies and reserve deputies from the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office.

Special thanks should be given to the Brauns Excavating, Heuer Construction, Midtown Towing, Alliant Energy, Muscatine Power and Water, Mid-American, and the countless area farmers, friends, and families that either assisted or supported the efforts to bring this incident under control.  Without that support, this incident would have deteriorated rapidly causing considerably more damage.  

This incident remains under investigation by the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office and further details may be released once they are received.