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Published October 13, 2010, 09:48 AM

Farmers urged to think fire safety during harvest

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is urging farmers to take fire safety precautions as the harvest seasons continues.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is urging farmers to take fire safety precautions as the harvest seasons continues.

The department said Tuesday that farmers should properly prepare their machinery for harvesting, including fire extinguishers. Experts say a spark from a combine can set fire to dry plants and field debris. Equipment also should be kept clean and combustible harvest debris should be removed several times a day.

Farm fires also can be caused by mishandling hay, forgetting to turn off interior lighting in overfilled bins and grain dryers that haven’t been properly maintained. It’s also suggested that farmers till a 30-foot break around buildings to minimize the spread of fire.

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