STRUCTURAL DAMAGE MINIMIZED IN MASSIVE POLK COUNTY BLAZE

Monday’s grass fire in Polk County burned an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 acres or approximately 20 to 23.5 square miles. Firefighters from numerous local, state, and federal departments responded to battle the blaze. Thanks to their efforts, structural damage along the fire’s path was minimal. 

One farmstead that did suffer some damage was the Bradford Farm west of Highway 32. Terrill Bradford said firefighters were on the farm all day and all night. “We lost all of our hay,” said Bradford. “We lost what was left of our woodpile from the winter. We lost a lot of fencing, stockades, calf shelters, and some equipment. But no animals and they saved all the big structures, so we were good. They were awesome. They were here all day and all night. The firefighters, they are wonderful.”

Additionally, Garden Valley Technology crews were out using trucks to power their services while a crew from Otter Tail Power Company was replacing damaged power poles. Smoke was still rising across the burned area Tuesday afternoon. However, the flames that could be seen from the roads around the burned area Monday night were no longer evident. 

The fire and amount of damage remain under investigation.