It has been a rough year for fires in Colorado. Experts say that it is the worst the state has seen at least in the last decade, possibly longer. Officials have determined that that they were mistaken in identifying the cause of one fire. Initially thought to originate from a discarded cigarette, Colorado State Patrol reps now say that a minor truck accident caused a five-acre brush fire near Glenwood Springs.
Gregory Parry, 53, was driving a tanker truck filled with 7,500 gallons of gasoline. He said he choked on a piece of licorice, lost control of the truck and crashed into a guardrail. Parry noticed that a fire had started behind him and immediately steered the tanker away from the fire. Police charged him with careless driving.
At first, officials thought that a stray cigarette started the fire because the burn area was far away from homes and businesses. A closer examination of the burned field yielded a lug nut cover that was “severely heat damaged.”
“It appears as though some of the lug nut covers got heated from the collision and may have gotten lobbed off as much as 200 feet into the dry grass,” said Glenwood Springs fire chief Gary Tillotson.
Fortunately, the fire department was able to contain the fire within a few hours with no reported injuries. Given Colorado’s dry conditions and the amount of flammable materials Parry was transporting, this truck accident could have been far worse.
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