Pine Island brush fire serves as safety reminder - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Pine Island brush fire serves as safety reminder

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13000 block of New Haven Road Southwest 13000 block of New Haven Road Southwest

PINE ISLAND, Minn. (KTTC) -- Brush fires have been keeping emergency responders on their toes this past week. There have been several reported in the area, including one Friday in Pine Island that did extensive burn damage to farm land. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, all of southern Minnesota is under a "high" fire danger warning, the highest in the state.

"We have a high amount of wind today, and the grass and brush in the field was two or three feet high, so we had five foot winds at one point," said Pine Island Fire Department Chief Jon Eickhoff. 

The homeowners were burning brush in the back of their farm in the 13000 block of New Haven Road Southwest when it all got out of hand. 

"It originated at the neighboring farm and spread through two fields," Eickhoff said. 

The scarring to the land could be seen for hundreds of yards as firefighters worked on ATVs to put out hot spots. Eickhoff said these types of fires are easily preventable.

"We want to remind everybody that we're in the middle of extremely dry conditions and its extremely windy," he said.  "People seem to think the snow just melted, it's wet out. The problem is, that the vegetation on top of the ground is very dry and that's what burns."

This comes just one day after a north Iowa boy was treated for smoke inhalation after a grass fire at his family's home in Kensett.

The Worth County Sheriff's Office said a fire was burning out of control, and a 10-year-old tried to put it out on his own.  Firefighters say instances like these serve as a reminder. 

"Don't be doing burning," Eickhoff said. "We've got to wait until we at least get some precipitation and the winds die down significantly."

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