For example, at one point, Grand Ridge Fire Department had firefighters and apparatus at three field fires or ditch fires. Most of Friday’s calls to fire departments came when farmers’ controlled burns in ditches became bigger than they could handle.
“They’re all over. This afternoon, the wind picked up and it changed on them and it just sent them all out of control,” Grand Ridge chief Mike Jaegle said. One of those fires was in rural Marseilles, one in rural Oglesby and one on the Deer Park blacktop. Wallace firefighters provided assistance to Grand Ridge, and Utica was called but turned back after one of the fires was controlled.
Friday afternoon in Cedar Point, two teenagers started some grass and brush on fire, and the fire spread to 313 Cedar St., destroying 30 feet of wooden fence, said Cedar Point chief Kevin Gould. The fire was approaching a shed when firefighters arrived, he said.
The fire scorched a utility pole, damaged phone lines and possibly damaged a cable television box, he said. Standard firefighters assisted Cedar Point.
Tiskilwa dealt with at least one grass fire call near the Hennepin Canal. Manlius, Lostant and many more departments had calls in their districts or to assist in neighboring districts. Marseilles firefighters were called for at least four fires Friday. Princeton firefighters were called about a grass fire near the rest area west of town.
Toluca fire chief Jerry Faw said his department put out three field fires between 1 and 5 p.m., all of which had gotten out of control when the wind shifted.
McNabb and Magnolia departments were called about a field fire and all-terrain vehicle on fire in the burning field.