POLICE NEWS: Traffic-signal work sparks grass fire

POLICE NEWS: Traffic-signal work sparks grass fire

7 June 2006

published by www.wacotrib.com

Waco, TX, USA — A grass fire burned a few acres of open land Tuesday afternoon near Ross.

About 20 volunteer firefighters from five nearby departments spent 45 minutes putting out the fire that started at about 2:45 p.m. off Tours Road in Ross, less than a mile west of Interstate 35, said Ann Reed, chief of the Elm Mott Volunteer Fire Department .

The fire was started when a crew from VMS Inc., a company contracted by the Texas Department of Transportation for traffic sign maintenance, was using a cutting torch to cut the pole of a traffic signal. Reed said sparks from the cutting torch ignited some grass, and the fire quickly spread across four or five acres.

The fire came close to a nearby business that rents out trash bins to construction sites but didn’t do any major damage, Reed said.

“He (the business owner) maybe lost some plywood, but that’s all,” she said.

No one was injured, Reed said.

Greg Patrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the Waco area is in for a dry week with above-normal temperatures in the high 90s. He said Waco’s temperature could hit 100 degrees today. However, he said the rain that fell in March and April will help keep down grass fires at least for the next week.

“If we continue to stay dry, the fire danger could go up later in the summer and in the fall,” Patrick said. 


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