Iowa prescribed fire escapes, burns private property

Burned property in Iowa
Glen Dale Geiger examines his property that burned during an escaped prescribed fire in Iowa. Photo from KCRG.

A prescribed fire conducted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources escaped on April 12 and burned onto three nearby properties. One of the victims was Glen Dale Geiger who lost three structures containing farm equipment and his pride and joy, a 1960 convertible that burned exactly 54 years to the day after he bought it. Mr. Geiger said other equipment lost included, “My corn picker, corn planter, my baler, feed wagons, my other wagon sitting outside, my camper in the corn crib, snow blower, bicycles,”

At first the DNR said the National Weather Service gave them “the wrong forecast”, but they later backtracked from that, saying the DNR did not follow protocol in checking the weather for the site of the prescribed fire.
Thanks and a hat tip go out to Chip.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Iowa prescribed fire escapes, burns private property”

  1. All took common in the last 2 plus years, rocksteady.

    Do not be blaming others for protocol issues……IA DNR protocols need to address more than achieving numbers of acres burned and habitat issues during periods of drought, Red Flag days, and other environmental issues before touching one off…..

    Checking conditions in one county and not the other?

    I would say look at more than a SPOT weather forecast.

    More than one agency needs to get a S390 refresher and a complete re read of Ag Handbook 360 Fire Weather and 2 more quarters of meteorology classes at Iowa State!!!!

  2. This will definitely have a negative impact on the public perception of prescribed burning. Trust has gone out the window on this one..

    “DNR did not follow protocol in checking the weather for the site of the prescribed fire”… REALLY???? Totally preventable..


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