Extreme winds challenge firefighters

Smoke rises from the Cedar Rapids fire scene.High winds and dry conditions created challenges for local fire departments in battling several grass and range fires last Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 17-18.
Winds were gusting from the north at more than 60 miles per hour during the two-day period.
The first fire was reported at 4 p.m. Wednesday, five miles west and two miles north of Cedar Rapids, near the intersection of 340th Street and 120th Avenue. A spark from a combine harvesting soybeans was the apparent cause, said Guy Imus, Cedar Rapids fire chief.
That fire claimed farm buildings, farm equipment and stored grain at the Jim Kennedy farm. Total loss is expected to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The hot spots could not be completely extinguished until the wind went down early Friday morning.
Details in the Oct. 24 Albion News Print & Electronic Editions.

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