Damaged overhead wire causes pair of fire calls
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
An electrical wire damaged by a fallen tree branch caused fire in some trees and grass, calling the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department twice last week.
Fire Chief Nick Schultz said Friday winds blew down a tree branch onto an Imperial Public Power District (IPPD) electrical line, two miles west of Imperial on Champion Highway.
One power line fell into some trees on the south side of the highway, was arcing and started a fire. Schultz said it only took 15 to 20 minutes to extinguish it, thanks to green trees and grass in the area.
All but one fire truck returned to the barn. The other stayed on site waiting for crews to repair the line.
At about the same time Saturday, around 6:30 p.m., the IVFD was called to the same location, Schultz said.
Apparently, some of the electrical sparks from the damaged line, or the end of the damaged wire, got into a nearby log on the ground, and was unnoticed on Friday.
It evidently smoldered the next 24 hours before starting another small fire. Firefighters had the second fire out in about half an hour.