Controlled Grass Fire Unexpectedly Closes Two Cedar Falls Roads [PHOTOS]
Just two days after battling a massive blaze at a local salvage yard, Cedar Falls firefighters spent several hours at the scene of another large fire on Wednesday (April 12, 2017).
Unlike Monday's fire at Aikey Auto Salvage, this second blaze was planned. Cedar Falls firefighters assisted the city's public works department with a controlled burn at Prairie Lakes Park across from the Target Distribution Center.
The planned fire, however, created some unexpected issues for motorists in Cedar Falls. Thick smoke from the blaze forced a temporary closure of two of the city's busiest traffic arteries as a precaution.
"We hadn't initially planned on Hudson Road and Viking Road being closed," Fire Chief John Bostwick said. "The smoke got a little more intense than we had anticipated initially. We did divert traffic from the area due to the amount of smoke there."
Bostwick said Hudson and Viking were both closed for about an hour. Given the high volume of traffic on the two roads, the fire chief explained that traffic was directed away from the heavy smoke to "prevent any incidents that might occur", such as accidents.
According to Bostwick, a controlled blaze is something city officials do periodically in different areas of Cedar Falls as part of a prairie management program. He said a similar controlled burn was done near the University of Northern Iowa campus last year.