JOPLIN, Mo. — A tractor baler gathering hay in a west Joplin field, malfunctions and catches fire, setting the surrounding grass and brush ablaze.
Emergency crews from the Carl Junction Fire Department were called to the afternoon blaze, which started just before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday (7/13).
Assistant Fire Chief, Andrew Jiles with the Carl Junction Fire Department said when firefighters arrived, they found a tractor and attached hay baler completely engulphed in flames, with fire rapidly spreading in all directions out from the equipment.
The field that caught fire is located inside the Wildwood Ranch Development area near 20th Street and Central City Road.
Assistant Chief Jiles said dry conditions contributed to the fire’s rapid spread.
Fire crews from Redings Mill, Baxter Springs and Galena were called in to help with the fire, which threatened high voltage power lines that provides electricity to the west side of Joplin.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the outdoor blaze before it reached the power lines, however the fire did damage to a set of train tracks owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.
Due to damage from the fire, two rails on the track will need to be replaced, said Assistant Chief Jiles.
Fire crews had the 50 acre fire put out just before 7:00 p.m., more than four hours after the blaze began.
No injuries were reported.
At the same time, just a mile to the northwest, firefighters with the Joplin Fire Department were battling a fire inside the Owens Corning manufacturing plant.
Deputy Fire Chief, Andy Nimmo with the Joplin Fire Department said when crews arrived, they found a “significant amount of fire” in the roof of a centrally located building within the surrounding facility, where much of the manufacturing takes place.
You can read more about that fire, HERE.