Minot Rural Fire advises caution amid recent combine fires

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 6:50 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – Minot Rural Fire is passing on the message that conditions are very dry and everyone needs to be careful. This comes after two combines caught fire north of Minot.

Harvest is a busy time for farmers, but the dust that these combines kick up can lead to a fire hazard.

“That can get in, it clings to all sorts of stuff on the machine engine, and so you’ve gotta get out and blow combines off sometimes a couple times a day. Keep checking, make sure that nothing smells hot,” said Amanda Kopp, Des Lacs farmer.

Sunflower harvest is about to begin and Kopp said that those crops can be especially problematic because of the oil in the seeds.

“You watch out if there’s other machines in the field you can keep an eye on them as you’re going cause you might have a fire, or a small smoldering fire that you can’t see or smell, but somebody else in the field would see it,” said Kopp.

Minot Rural Fire Chief Weltikol said it only takes one spark, whether it comes from an overheated exhaust, a rock being kicked up, or any of a number of sources.

“Be cautious and be aware of what you’re doing before you actually do it. Think fire safety and the dryness, cause it’s tender dry out there and we’re not seeing rain in the forecast for quite a few days again,” said Weltikol.

He also recommends cleaning and greasing the combine at the end of every day to make sure everything is ready the next morning.

Weltikol cautioned that even a riding lawn mower when it catches a rock can start a grassfire in the current conditions.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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