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(Neb)-Highway 2/71 Closed Nearly 5 Hours By Fire

By: John Axtell Posted at: 09/08/2017 08:11 PM
CRAWFORD - Highway 2/71 was closed for nearly 5 hours Friday by a grass and vehicle fire about 5 miles south of Crawford.

       The Nebraska State Patrol says a semi hauling large round bales of hay on a flatbed trailer was southbound when the hay ignited around 2:45 pm. Flames engulfed the trailer and ignited roadside grass, with the fire spreading across a pasture and into timber.

       The fire was extinguished after burning roughly 3-acres and the flatbed was destroyed, but the semi tractor was undamaged.

        Although blocked by the fire and burning trailer, the highway wasn't officially closed until a State Trooper could arrive, which took 36 minutes because the officer was on the other side of Chadron.

       The highway couldn't reopen until the fire was extinguished and the debris from the trailer cleaned up, which took until 7:30.

     The State Patrol says there are still about 10-to-12 smoldering hay bales at the scene that could pose a visibility problem if the wind picks up and fans the embers, so caution is being urged in that area.


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