Brush fire scorches backyards in Sioux Falls - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Brush fire scorches backyards in Sioux Falls

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It was a close call for one Sioux Falls neighborhood, when a brush fire quickly spread into a couple lawns.

It was just your typical Thursday night for people on Emma Lane. Amy Dreke says she was folding some laundry in her basement when she started to smell smoke.

"Came outside and saw smoke and my neighbors running and we went behind some houses and found the grass on fire." Said Dreke.

No one was home at the time but Dreke says her quick thinking neighbors jumped into action.

"My neighbors grabbed a hose from another house and a five gallon bucket and started putting it out and they put it out before the fire department came." Said Dreke.

Kris Baatz was driving home from Vermillion when he got a call from his girlfriend.

"She had just ran to the grocery store and fire trucks were parked outside and the yard was burned to ash!" Said Baatz.

But it wasn't just Baatz's yard, the fire also scorched it's way through some of the neighbor's lawn. Baatz says he was mad at first, but now he's more confused, as is the fire inspector, trying to determine a cause.

"He said he didn't even know what started it, he said he knew the wind was blowing this way and that's what pushed it up into there and his guess was that it started over there." Said Baatz.

Baatz is considering himself lucky as neither the fence or house were damaged by the fire. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue says Baatz's luck should show people how dry the area is.

"We'd like to discourage residents from using fire pits and portable fire places when it's this dry out, fire can spread and grow very rapidly." Said fire inspector Barry Maag.

but Baatz has his own advice to give.

"I'd tell them, if your yard looks anything like mine, as you can see in front is all brown, to water more often." Said Baatz.

A green backyard won't be coming this year for Baatz but he says an underground sprinkler system is definitely in his future.

The fire inspector says if you're going to use a fire pit be sure and water the lawn around the fire pit and keep the hose nearby. Also, use a fire pit that has an ember shield or lid.

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