Central Iowa fire crews were extremely busy last night, battling blazes that torched more than 600 acres of Iowa fields, spurred on by winds that continued to gust to nearly 30 miles-per-hour, deep into the night.

According to the Times-Republican, three different fires kept approximately 50 firefighters from six different fire departments, and law enforcement personnel, going all night. The crews were from Albion, Clemons, Haverhill, Liscomb, Marshalltown, and State Center all battled fires around the Marshalltown area.

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Marshall County Emergency Management Director Kim Elder told the Times-Republican,

With this weather, the high winds and low humidity, the long grass and dry areas, it would not have taken much at all for this to spread farther. I can’t say enough about those who responded, 90 percent of whom are volunteers.

A huge part of the middle part of the U.S., and almost all of Iowa, were under a Red Flag Warning on Monday. Yesterday was the ideal type of day for those types of warnings that the National Weather Service says are triggered by warm temperatures, strong winds, and low humidity.

Unfortunately, crews are concerned that at least some of the central Iowa fires Monday night may have been intentionally set. State Center Fire Chief Brad Pfantz told the Times-Republican, "They are suspicious because there were three large fires occurring in a short time. I can't say that was natural."

Thankfully, no one was injured and we also haven't heard of any property damage. Due to the great work of all the fire crews, the blazes were under control this morning. Even though temperatures are drastically lower today, winds are still strong and the National Weather Service continues to warn of an elevated fire risk.

Central Iowa Fires March 29 & 30, 2021