WEST HAVEN -- Firefighters from two departments used four separate engines to put a quick containment circle around a dangerous fire in a trash heap Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Weber County Fire Chief Paul Sullivan said responders contained the rapidly burning fire at 2550 S. 5900 West within 10 minutes. Several homes and buildings are nearby, he said, and one large haystack that would have been destroyed if it got wet or smoky.
The fire started at 12:04 p.m. in a trash heap on farm property owned by Romney Buck. Buck said the pile, about a quarter-acre in size, was a collection of mostly old tires, railroad ties and other debris that he had collected over the years.
At least one old tractor was in the pile.
Sullivan said the fire started when sparks from a welding torch being used by a worker on the property caught some weeds on fire. The fire quickly spread to the trash heap.
A large plume of black smoke from the tires and railroad ties filled the air, but Sullivan said quick work by 12 firefighters from Roy and the Weber Fire District kept it from spreading through cheatgrass, which he said is extremely dry and flammable.
"Cheatgrass burns like crazy, so our big concern was just containment," he said. "To contain it, and get a circle around it ... our guys had a circle around it in 10 minutes.
"The biggest concern we had was a big haystack," he said. "It has property value. Once it gets smoky or gets wet, it has no feed value."
Firefighters spent 90 minutes soaking down the burning rubbish pile.
Buck said the old tires, ties and other stuff had no value to start with, and the tractor that burned was already junk, so he had lost nothing in the fire.