Windy conditions: likely cause of combine fire

November 16th, 2020 | Chabella Guzman

High winds and dry conditions were the likely causes of a combine fire north of Morrill on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Ron Sittner was out in his combine bringing in the last of the corn. His daughter Amy and her husband Charles Banghart were at the end of the field setting up the electric fence.

Charles saw the fire from the road, and the couple raced back over to where Sittnerr was combining.

“We rushed over there, hoping my dad had gotten out of the cab,” Amy said. “Because that (fire) moves pretty quick, and we got over there, and luckily he was standing in the field away from the combine.”

The Morrill Volunteer Fire and Rescue were dispatched at 2:30 p.m. to the fire north of Morril on County Rd B. 

“They (fire crew) had it knocked down pretty quick within five minutes,” said Morrill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Fire Cheif Matt Hinman. “Then just continued to monitor for hot spots and made sure everything cooled down and wouldn’t rekindle.”

The combine was traveling east to west. According to the National Weather Service, winds were gusting winds up to 44 mph, coming from the northwest. 

Hinman said it’s likely the cornhusks and stalks got up under the manifold with the high winds and eventually sparked the fire.

The family still has about 70 acres left of corn to harvest, and the combine is probably a total loss. 


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