116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A woman tending to a ditch fire near Marion became engulfed in flames and died Sunday afternoon when the blaze grew out of control, authorities said.
The Linn County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at 3:14 p.m. reporting the fire in the 3000 block of Gillmore Road, near the Tuma Soccer Complex north of Marion.
Emergency personnel discovered the woman who had been trying to tend the fire was on the ground, overcome by smoke and flames. The woman, whose name was not released, died at the scene, the Sheriff's Office said. The State Fire Marshal's Office is assisting with the investigation.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, no current bans on open burning had been reported to it on Sunday in either Linn or Johnson counties.
Nonetheless, the National Weather Service cautioned that wind gusts Sunday and again Monday made open burning risky.
'Warm temperatures, low relative humidity, and south winds gusting to around 25 mph will result in a very high risk for grass fires this afternoon north of Interstate 80,” the weather service said Sunday, noting that the same danger is forecast for Monday. 'Any fire that develops could quickly get out of control. Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.”