Watertown Fire Rescue crews responded to two separate tractor fires within 30 min of each other on 12/9/2020. The first fire happened shortly after 3:30 pm at the intersection of 178th Street and South Highway 81, which is approx 4 1/2 miles South of Watertown. A controlled burn had been taking place at this intersection when the fire got out of control and caught a Kubota Skid Steer on fire. When crews arrived they found the fire spreading to a near by wetland with cattails burning out of control. Also in that field was a Kubota Skid steer that was fully involved in flames. Firefighters first priority was getting the wildland under control, as this fire was burning towards Highway 81. After the wildland fire was brought under control, crews then put the skid steer out. Crews were on scene for just over 1 hour. The skid steer was a total loss.
The second tractor fire happened at 4pm, Northeast of Kranzburg, at 16930 465th Ave. The farmer stated that he had plugged his tractor in so that he could use it in the morning to grind hay. After he had gone inside they heard some loud popping and when he came back outside the tractor was fully involved in flames. The tractor was attached to a hay grinder wagon and parked next to approximately 40 hay bales and an outbuilding. The fire quickly spread to the hay bales and outbuilding. When crews arrived on scene they started an initial attack on the outbuilding to keep the structure from burning down. As more units arrived on scene the attention was turned to both the tractor and they hay bales. Watertown Fire Rescue requested mutual aid from both Goodwin Fire Department and South Shore Fire Department. Goodwin and South Shore provided manpower and additional water with their Tender trucks. Watertown Fire Rescue also received support from neighboring farmers as they brought a payloader and 2 loader tractors to removed the bales that were on fire and take them across the road to a chiseled bean field. With out the support of the neighbors the bale fire would be very hard to put out as they were stacked 2 high. Crews remained on scene for just over 2 hours. The tractor, hay grinder, and bales were a total loss. Crews were able to stop the spread of the fire in the outbuilding but it did suffer significant damage to part of the structure.