A hot part on a combine ignited dry material in a field, sparking a wildfire in southeastern Nebraska.
The fire burned between 180 and 200 acres before being extinguished.
Another combine started a second fire, destroying the combine and burning ground within 200 yards.
Beatrice Rural Fire Chief Jim Engel says in the dry, windy conditions, machinery can sometimes touch off a fire that can spread quickly.
“It can be a piece of equipment that has a bad bearing or two pieces of metal wearing against one another or it could be from an exhaust that the stocks and leaves and this kind of stuff are so dry that the low humidity and high winds make them like a matchstick,” Engel tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KWBE.
Thick, black smoke caused a wreck when a SUV ran into a parks emergency vehicle.
Engel says it’s the time of year when precautions must be taken.
“That season you know when high winds, low humidity and a lot of things going on; it’s just kind of that time of year and that type of situation where a fire can start very quickly,” according to Engle.
Beatrice and Pickrell firefighters responded. Farmers quickly responded as well, using discs to cut fire lines to contain the fires.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, contributed to this report.