Second “Intentionally Set” Fire at Bakken Oil Pipeline Site


REASNOR, Iowa– Three bulldozers and an excavator were torched over the weekend in Jasper County. The equipment sat at the construction site of the Bakken Oil Pipeline near Reasnor where suspected arsonists have struck there before.

“My neighbor told me there was a huge fire out in my field and my first thought was, it was a stalk fire of some sort,” said Chris Merten.

A closer look proved him wrong. The intentionally set fire cause an estimated $2 million in damages.

On October 15th, 2016 11:38 pm, Jasper County Sheriff Office Dispatch received a 911 call from a passerby who saw the burning equipment. The ATF and FBI have joined the State Fire Marshall’s office in the investigation. On August 1st, similar equipment was set on fire. Authorities believe both cases are connected.

“They think that by doing antics like this, they’re proving something and slowing it down, but they’re not. This morning the workers was out there at 7 o’clock going right after it again. So they’re not proving anything. they’re not slowing anything down,” said Merten.

Merten and his neighbors are on board with the pipeline project.

“I hope they catch ’em,” agreed neighbor Irvin Vanderleest.

The landowners say protesting the pipeline is one thing, but this is taking it too far.

“It’s just disgusting,” said Vanderleest.

Reasnor, Sully and Newton Fire Departments responded to the scene and quickly doused the flames. They kept the fire from spreading to nearby fields and crops.

“When it happens on your own property, it kind of makes you sick to your stomach and hit homes when they start doing it this close to home,” said Merten.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is encouraged to contact the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office. Any suspicious vehicles and/or persons seen in and around these areas may have information or be related to these cases.