URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — As harvest season continues, the University of Illinois Extension urged people to be prepared for an increased risk of farm fires.
They said equipment fires, especially combine-related fires, are one of the most common and costly types of farm fire incidents. Trent Ford, state climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey at the U of I, said this season’s increased risk is due to severe drought conditions in parts of the Midwest. A lack of precipitation, low soil moisture and dry vegetation paired with hot running farm equipment could increase chances of a fire.
“It is extremely important to inspect farm buildings and evaluate storage conditions and upkeep,” said Jay Solomon, Illinois Extension educator who focuses on farm facility management.
Here are safety tips to follow:
- Check the weather and wait if it’s expected to be dry and windy.
- Have access to water, fire extinguishers and fire blankets.
- Maintain, clean and monitor equipment for fire potential.
- Have smoke detectors in buildings, with alerts connected to your phone.
- Maintain access to equipment to create potential fire breaks.
- Ensure the farm address is clearly visible from the road.
- Always know the exact field identification and location.
- Have a plan for all livestock.