Burn ban in effect

Darrell Knecht of Howard County Emergency Management announced as of 1:00 p.m. July 16, 2012 a Burn Ban was issued by the State Fire Marshalls office for all of Howard County. No open burning is permitted without a permit until further notice.

The proclamation from the State Fire Marshal stated Knecht, representing each fire department in Howard County, requested the marshal prohibit open burning until further notice.

No person shall engage in open burning in Howard County effective July 16, 2012 at 1:00 p.m., except as specifically permitted by Iowa Code 100.40(3).

When Knecht deems conditions are okay to burn, he will contact the fire marshal who will take away the ban.

Any violation is a simple misdemeanor.


The Lime Springs Fire Department makes sure the fire at the ball field is out as Butch Burnikel watches.

LS Fire Dept. called out

The Lime Springs Fire Department was called out Sunday, July 15 around 3:50 p.m. to extinguish a fire at the Lime Springs ball field.

Butch Burnikel said, “I was watering Earl’s tree and two little boys came running up to me and said they started a fire.” (A tree in memory of Earl Johnson had recently been planted at the ball field.)

Apparently two youth and the younger brother of one of the boys went to the ball field and shot off a bottle rocket they found, using a lighter. The dry grass caught fire. The boys dumped garbage from a can to get water to douse the fire, but it had holes in the bottom.

Burnikel took his water bucket to the fire. In the meantime, lifeguard Nicole Klomp, who had been walking over to ask Burnikel a question, noticed the fire and rushed back to the pool to get some buckets.

Jay Burns was at the pool with his family and noticed the trouble, got his towel wet and rushed out to help.

Pool manager Jake Thomas, who was on duty, called the third guard, Lattie Crozier, to watch the pool. He called 911 and got another towel. “Nicole and Jay looked like they had it under control; then the wind picked up,” Thomas said.

The fire department arrived shortly thereafter and got the fire put out, but not before it destroyed one-third of the ball field.

During the mayhem, Rachel Decker, a parent, watched the concession stand.

Fire Chief Tony Roberts talked with the boys, explaining the dangers of playing with fire, and their parents were called to pick them up.


Chester Dept. called out

Sunday afternoon, July 15, the Chester Fire Department was called to a grass fire at the former Bob Freel place, three miles west of Hwy. 63 on 40th St.

Fire Chief Jeff Wendel said the fire started in the ditch. The firefighters were in their hot turnout gear for two-and-a-half hours. They were called out again to put out some hot spots for another hour in the early evening.

The damage was mostly limited to the tree line. It is hard to say what started the fire, but with the dry conditions it didn’t take long to spread.


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