RICKETTS, Iowa — A fire Wednesday afternoon resulted in a small western Iowa town being evacuated. Around 11:30 AM, a pickup was pulling a load of bales, when it caught fire.

“We paged out two fire departments, Charter Oak and Ricketts, and by the time they got there the fire got down into the field and started working up towards Ricketts,” said Gregory Miller, Emergency Management Coordinator for Crawford County. “It was about 4 miles away and the fire just kept going and going and we called in 17 different departments.”

These departments came from counties surrounding Crawford and worked with some farmers, who were tilling the harvested crop land, to create a fire break. Though no buildings were damaged, and there were no injuries, there was still a cause for concern. Some 100 residents were asked to leave the area, along with another 40-50 people who live outside of town. They were able to go back around 3 p.m.

“It was pretty scary you know losing your house, losing all your possessions, your garage is going to go up so you had all that stuff you were gonna lose,” said Clayton Marth, who lives in Ricketts. “I just grabbed my medication and I packed an overnight bag.”

“I just got to thank everybody that was involved,” said Miller. “It’s a big operation we had nothing but cooperation from the DNR, and police departments were there with co-ops bringing thousands of gallons of water to help us out.”

In a local interview with radio station KDSN, of Denison, Ricketts Mayor Jan Wessel Blunk, thanked all the volunteers who came with the fire departments, and with tractors to create fire breaks. She credited all those volunteers with saving their town.

Miller estimated around 75 people in total were on the scene battling the blaze. On Thursday there were several local fire trucks monitoring for hotspots, but there were no flames spotted.