Sunday Fire in Wapello Still Buring

On Sunday Afternoon, Wapello Fire and Rescue was requested to an area in the Iowa River floodplain north of Wapello for a report of a control burn that was out of control.

Upon arrival, crews found a 40-acre area that had been mostly burned, and fire that spread to a large area of remote timber land owned by the State of Iowa. The Morning Sun and Grandview Fire departments were requested as assistance. Fire crews contained the fire to the timber area and prevented the fire from spreading to an adjacent area with 500 acres of grassland and an additional 220 acres of timber.

As of yesterday evening, the fire was contained to an approximately 120-acre area of mostly timber. There are many dead trees in this area that remain on fire and are surrounded by burnt vegetation. The fire has generated a significant amount of smoke and with the wind having switched to the north, the smoke is currently carrying into Wapello and is creating extremely smoky conditions. The burning trees are inaccessible to fire equipment and will most likely continue to burn for several days.

Air quality should improve today with winds out of the southeast. Firefighters will continue to monitor the situation as the week unfolds. Be advised that the smoke is currently causing visibility issues on US 61 from inside Wapello to approximately one mile north of the city limits.