Wind, sparks and dry grass caused three separate fires in the Humboldt area in the past week, prompting warnings from firefighters.
The first grass fire of 2011 was called in while Humboldt Fire Department (HFD) firefighters were at their regular practice night on May 9.
At 7:24 p.m., a grass fire was reported at a farm two miles east and one mile south of Humboldt.
A resident of the farm had been burning garbage in a barrel when the wind picked up and it spread the fire into tall grass, reported Mike Kwasnica of the Humboldt Fire Department.
Approximately 21 firefighters - all of those who had been at practice - attended the call, and had the fire out within 45 minutes, Kwasnica said.
Two more grass fires were called in within 20 minutes of each other on a very windy May 13.
At 12:38 p.m. that Friday, the HFD was called to a farm five and a half miles west of Humboldt on Hwy. 5.
The owner of the property had been burning garbage when the wind picked up and spread the fire into tall grass.
"It got away from him," Kwasnica said.
About 15 firefighters had the fire out within 45 minutes.
A lucky thing, as another grass fire was called in while they were still at that scene.
At 12:50 p.m. on May 13, firefighters were called to a grassfire on the west end of 4th Ave., on the south side of the tracks.
Somebody was cutting rebar with a saw, Kwasnica reported, and sparks got into the tall grass, starting a fire. The wind picked up and spread it, prompting the call to the fire department.
Firefighters were on scene for about half an hour. They were able to get there pretty quickly, noted Kwasnica, as a unit that was responding to the first call was already on that side of Humboldt, and was simply rerouted to the second call.
Kwasnica had some words of warning for those planning to burn anything this spring.
"If you're going to burn garbage, do it on a very calm day, late in the evening," he noted.
At that time, there's less of a chance of the wind picking up to spread it, and there is more moisture in the air, which will help keep the fire under control.
People should also put a grate over the barrel to keep the sparks from flying out, and just be very careful in general.
"If you have to burn anything large, wait until it's raining," he added.
While the ground may be wet under the surface, "the top of the grass is bone dry," he said. "We don't want a Slave Lake to happen here."