Weather Forecast


Hundreds of cows escape barn fire northwest of Blomkest

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UPDATED: 7:50 p.m.

BLOMKEST – Fifty corn stalk bales caught fire Wednesday evening on the 16000 block of 15th Street Southwest in rural Blomkest, spreading to a nearby barn and forcing the evacuation of 300 cows and two dogs.

“I just saw the smoke,” said Ashley Jansen, who lives on the property with her husband, Dylon. “I happened to look out the kitchen window.”

The cows and dogs were safely moved from the barn, which was not a total loss. But the outside of one wall was visibly charred.

The Jansens said the Blomkest Fire Department arrived on scene within 15 minutes of their 911 call.

Fire Departments from Willmar, Prinsburg, Lake Lillian and Raymond also assisted on the scene, pulling apart the hay bales with a crane and extinguishing the blaze. Emergency medical technicians were also on standby, though no one was hurt.

Even over an hour after the fire was reported around 5:30 p.m., the hay bales still sent large clouds of smoke into the air. As firefighters pulled apart the hay bales, they found even more flames.

At around 6:30 p.m. at the scene, Blomkest Fire Chief Ryan Erickson was sparse on details. The cause of the fire had not been determined.

Originally published: 6:24 p.m.

Multiple fire departments have responded Wednesday evening to a barn and hay bale fire at a location northwest of Blomkest.

The farm fire is located approximately 2 miles northwest of Blomkest.

According to scanner traffic, the fire has involved a barn and about 50 large haybales on the farm.

The Blomkest Fire Department has responded to the scene and mutual aid is being provided by the Prinburg, Raymond and Willmar fire departments.

This story will be updated as information is available.