Flat tire likely cause of hay fire

Kevin Holamon kevin.holamon@brownwoodbulletin
30 bales of hay ablaze on US 377 S

About noon Monday, firefighters were dispatched to the 9500 block of U.S. 377 S, where a trailer load of round bales was ablaze.

Brownwood Fire Marshall Buddy Preston said firefighters with six firefighting vehicles responded to the scene; one each from Brownwood and Winchell, and two each from Brookesmith and Early. Two Brown County Sheriff's Deputies, TXDoT, and DPS also assisted with traffic control.

All lanes of the highway was blocked for a short time, as a local landowner used his personal tractor and loader to remove the hay bales from the trailer, so they could be completely extinguished on the ground, salvaging the trailer.

Preston said the driver told him the fire had started in a bale directly over a blown tire.

"I was told he had thrown the rubber off a tire coming through Early," Preston said, "then he had another blowout next to that one."

The trailer was a tandem axle, with dual wheels on each. It contained 30 round bales, all of which burned.

Preston urged drivers to avoid driving with flats, even on dual wheeled vehicles. The same situation resulted in a dozen separate fires on two Brown County roads on May 3, when a person was towing a plow with a flat tire. That incident required the response of 15 firefighting agencies.