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Crews continue to battle fire impacting traffic along I-29

Authorities recommend to avoid travel through the impacted area
Posted at 7:53 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 20:53:27-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — A Pottawattamie County fire continues to burn just off of I-29 near the site of a previous fire that broke out last Saturday.

KMTV reporter Molly Hudson was at Narrows River Park in Council Bluffs, where a command post for this fire was established.

Galen Barrett, the incident commander for this fire, says the wind is actually a benefit to the way they are approaching the fire, because it is slowing down the progression to the City of Council Bluffs, but it is putting smoke right over I-29.

Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Molly and photojournalist Wade Lux passed through that heavy smoke on I-29. Visibility was impacted and crews along the interstate were working to slow down traffic.

A view from Lewis and Clark State Park showed flames on both the east and west sides of I-29. Many neighbors were there and said they could smell smoke from their homes.

Barrett said the cause is likely related to a similar fire that broke April 6 nearby.

"In that fire, the wind was out of the south and pushing it north. This fire the wind has changed directions and is in more of the southerly direction so it probably picked up an ember out of some down timbers, picked it up, threw it into something dry to the south and it was off to the races with the fire," Barrett said.

Barrett told KMTV the big thing is traffic on I-29. Although the interstate is open, travel is not recommended in either direction.