Dry weather heightens risk for harvest-time field fires

The state climatologist for Illinois says there is a heightened risk for field fires across the Midwest this harvest season.

Trent Ford tells Brownfield there has been little rain across the region the last 30 days.

“The crop has dried down very quickly. The soil on which the crop sits is very dry and the prairie that’s surrounding the fields is also very dry.”

He says the risk will vary day to day. “Keep your eye on those National Weather Service watches and warnings, especially the red flag warnings that will indicate days in which the conditions are really, really ripe for field fires. That’s a day you may want to think about how you’re handling harvest activity.”

Ford says farmers in the central and western Corn Belt should be on high alert for potential fires, but the risk is still present in the eastern Corn Belt, where conditions have been wetter.

“Even in a wetter conditions, if you have the right weather conditions set up where you have those strong winds and the dry air, you can still have the fire spread pretty easily.”

He reminds farmers to keep a fire extinguisher in the machinery cab and have a fire response plan in place. 

Audio: Interview with Trent Ford

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!