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The burning question

March 6, 2012

Yesterday morning a farmer near Webster City, Iowa, was burning old round hay bales in his field near Highway 20 when the wind shifted and blew the thick smoke across the highway, cutting visibility to zero. Within minutes, 31 vehicles had crashed into each other sending several people to hospitals with serious injuries.

I would not want to be that farmer today. He only got a citation, not a fine, but I bet lawsuits are coming. And why burn hay? Even old hay has some use.

Just last month I had the “burning” conversation with Bob. He was anxious to torch a huge pile of limbs at his dad’s acreage, debris from a wind storm last summer. The burn pile sits right next to Highway 30 (shown below). I told him to make sure there was no wind and contact the fire department ahead of time. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nag, nag.

One day he went up and burned it. The wind was light and blowing away from the road, and all went well. Whew.

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