Hay bales catch fire near New Castle, close I-70
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colo. ” Westbound Interstate 70 was closed for about 90 minutes Friday while fire crews doused a small fire in the median and north shoulder of the highway about a half-mile east of New Castle.
The fire started just after noon, when bales of hay stacked on a gooseneck trailer being pulled down the road caught fire, according to Fire Chief Brit McLin of the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District. The driver’s name was not released, but the truck belonged to Earthworks Supply Inc., McLin said.
When the bales of hay caught fire, the wind scattered flaming debris onto the interstate and median, according to McLin, igniting dry grasses. Why the bales of straw ignited wasn’t clear, he said.
“The straw scattered itself and covered about a half-mile of area in the median,” McLin said. “The median caught fire in three places.”
Small fires speckled the median and the area between the interstate and the railroad right-of-way. The burning bales damaged the trailer and a tractor that was also being hauled on the trailer. According to McLin, the tractor’s fuel tank and hydraulic lines were burned, but no one in the truck or surrounding vehicles sustained any injuries.
“No one was injured,” McLin said. “But, I would think the trailer will need a new deck and the tractor is probably a loss.”
The fire district responded with four rigs. Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies, Colorado State Patrol and New Castle police also assisted, according to McLin.
“CSP and CDOT (Colorado Division of Transportation) did traffic control and traffic was cooperative,” McLin said. “We all worked well together.”
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