Iowa Woodchip Fire Spreads to Hog Confinement

Nine fire departments battled a blaze over the weekend that engulfed a 5,000-ton woodchip pile and killed hogs nearby.


BREDA, Iowa (AP) -- Nine fire departments battled a blaze over the weekend that engulfed a 5,000-ton woodchip pile and killed hogs at a nearby farm.

Firefighters responded to the fire about two miles southeast of Breda at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

Fire Chief Chris Young said it was the ninth fire call in recent weeks to the woodchip pile owned by Koster Grain.

The pile had been smoldering for days when 30 mph winds on Sunday fanned embers, re-igniting the fire and spreading it to a hog confinement, several outbuildings and a nearby field, Young said.

''We tried to save the hog barn but couldn't,'' he said.

The number of hogs killed by the blaze wasn't available.

Breda firefighters remained on the scene Monday morning to guard against flare-ups.

''That pile is going to burn a while,'' Young said. ''There's still a lot of wood to burn.''