WESTERVILLE—A semitrailer hauling a load of cornstalks caught fire southwest of Westerville on Thursday afternoon. Ansley Fire Chief Lynn Henry confirmed the fire started approximately 1:30 p.m. after a spark from the truck exhaust likely ignited the top layer of corn stalks.
Henry said the fire occurred on a county road south of Scott and Denise Kaelin’s residence. The trailer was completely destroyed, but the truck and the driver were okay, according to Henry.
The driver, Matt Hansen of Ansley also serves with Ansley Fire and Rescue. Henry said this fact helped when calling for assistance. Ansley, Mason City, Broken Bow, Sargent, and Arcadia crews were on the scene providing tanker trucks with extra water. Henry said that due to the dry conditions, extra water was necessary and the fire was difficult to put out. Crews let the stalks burn and spread it out in road ditches as it burned itself out, covering a small area.
The fire was contained between 2:30 and 3 p.m. according to Henry and the last fire trucks to leave the incident returned to their station by 6 p.m.