Hay bales catch fire near New Caslte and close down I-70 | PostIndependent.com

Hay bales catch fire near New Caslte and close down I-70

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

NEW CASTLE, Colorado ” Westbound Interstate 70 was closed for about 90 minutes Friday as fire crews doused a small fire in the median and north shoulder of the highway about a half mile east of New Castle on Friday.

The fire started just after noon, when bales of hay stacked on a gooseneck trailer being pulled down the road caught fire, according to Brit McLin, Burning Mountains Fire Protection District’s Fire Chief. 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 force of the wind scattered flaming debris onto the highway and into the median, according to McLin, igniting dry native grasses. Just how the bales of straw ignited was unknown, McLin 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 freeway and the railroad right-of-way about half a mile east of New Castle, causing both westbound lanes to be closed. The burning bales damaged the trailer and also a tractor that was being hauled on the trailer, as well. 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.”

BMFPD responded with four rigs. Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies, Colorado State Patrol and New Castle Police assisted on scene, according to McLin.

“CSP and CDOT (Colorado Division of Transportation) did traffic control and traffic was cooperative,” McLin said. “We all worked well together.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114


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