Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

April 7, 2014

UPDATE: KRFD fights wide field fire

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — We now know more about a fire broke out in a field at the corner of Pratt Drive and 150th, approximately five miles south of Knoxville, Monday afternoon. 

A Knoxville Rural Fire Department crew was on scene by 3 p.m., along with representatives of MidAmerican Energy. The fire had a wide base, and could have threatened several trees in the area if the fire department had not responded. 

Knoxville Rural Fire Chief Kenny Thompson reported Tuesday afternoon that the fire was caused by a "meltdown" of a piece of equipment owned by MidAmerican Energy. The flame created caught the nearby grass on fire. 

Firemen were observed on scene struggled to climb a steep ditch to reach the main fire. A portion of the ditch appeared to have already burned. A small flame could be seen continuing to burn in the ditch. 

Our initial report was based on one reporter's observation. While we observed three firemen trying to fight the fire with one truck, there were others on the other side of the hill fighting the fire that we did not see, according to Thompson. He said there was "a good turnout" of firemen who responded. 

Thompson added that the department was paged out while fighting another fire near Pleasantville. Between April 2-7, Knoxville Rural Fire Department responded to eight calls. Two of them were mutual aid calls for Pleasantville and City of Knoxville.

Thompson was the one who called for the burn ban instituted in the County Tuesday morning. Earlier in the week, the clutch went out of one of the department's trucks. 

There was no further damage caused by the fire, other than the grass. A City of Knoxville crew also assisted with the fire.