Tarp sparks one-acre brush fire
By Holly M. Gill
A tarp caught in a whirlwind flew from N.E. Jefferson Street to a power line on Friday afternoon, July 25, and sparked a one-acre fire.
The tarp landed on a power line at the corner of Jefferson Street and U.S. Highway 26, and caused arcing and sparks from the transformer, which started a fire behind Hoffy's Motel, according to Jefferson County Fire Marshal Mark Carman.
Residents of Madras also reported power surges around town, resulting from damage to the transformer.
Fire trucks, already out on another call, responded within minutes and were able to prevent the fire, which had spread down hill, from reaching the motel, Carman said. At one point, flames were within 10 feet of the motel's laundry room, he added.
The one-acre fire burned a couple piles of scrap wood and trusses, several juniper trees, grass, and brush. It also scorched one end of a storage shed, caused heat damage to a van, and broke a tractor window, for a total of about $1,500 in damage.
Carman said that the fire department was on the fire for about an hour and a half.