Grass Fires Creep Iowa Neighborhood

Some homeowners in Council Bluffs are keeping a close eye on a fast-moving grassfire.

Firefighters battled the wind-whipped flames all Saturday afternoon in the Fair Oaks area west of Mall of the Bluffs.

No homes are threatened so far, but many residents aren't taking any chances. William Gubbles said he knew he had to do something when the fire came within 50 yards of his home.

"I was up there beating flames all the way, about three blocks long, just trying to keep it from the timber," Gubbles said. "That was before I saw fire trucks."

About 20 Council Bluffs firefighters are battled the blaze. Extra fire fighting equipment was brought in from Lewis Township.

Engineer Joe Mass said fighting a grass fire isn't easy.

"With the grass fire, with the wind blowing it like it is, you literally have to turn the dirt upside down in order to get all the embers out, and then you got more embers flying up and the wind taking them starting little pockets of fires here in and there," Mass said. "Once you get ahead of it, you got to try and take care of the fuel, which is the grass and trees."

The assistant fire chief said his crew hopes to have complete control of the fire very soon. But they planned to stay for several hours to make sure all the hotspots were out.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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