A wind turbine fire lit up the night sky over parts of Atchison County Thursday evening.
Westboro Firefighters responded to the fire at a turbine owned by Iberdrola Renewables located 3/4ths of a mile west of Highway F and 3 1/2 to 4 miles west of Highway 59. Mark Manchester is Atchison County’s assistant emergency management coordinator. Manchester tells KMA News flames were highly visible upon arrival.
“On approach, we could see a lot of heavy smoke coming from the turbine,” said Manchester. “As we got closer, we were able to see there was quite a bit of flame coming from the top portion of the turbine where the blades attach. We were advised by Iberdrola not to approach the turbine, just due to the safety factor, because there was a lot of debris that was burning and falling off.
“One of the blades ended breaking and falling off after we left,” he added. “It was a pretty good scene there for a while.”
Manchester, who is also a member of Westboro’s department, says firefighters were at the scene for roughly an hour before leaving.
“Fortunately, due to the rain we had lately,” he said, “and there was no wind last night, we didn’t have to worry about the debris that was falling down catching anything else on fire, and spreading out. We just monitored it for a while–Iberdrola had their officials on the scene, and they advised us for a while that we could return. They were going to monitor it, and start taking care of things on their end.”
Though the cause of the fire is unknown, he says it’s believed it started below the structure, then worked its way through cables to the top. No injuries were reported. A dollar amount of the loss is unknown.
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