PARKER — Bales of hay burning on Interstate 25 is thankfully an unusual site.
But that's exactly what shut down southbound I-25 at Arapahoe Road smack dab in the middle of rush hour Tuesday afternoon.
South Metro Fire said no one was hurt when the driver of the truck carrying the hay slammed on the brakes, shifting the hay up against a hot exhaust pipe, which started the fire.
With no fire hydrants on the highway, South Metro Fire used a trick they reserve for rural Colorado, not the city.
“That was the first time I have seen us a portable water tank on an interstate in the middle of the city,” said Eric Hurts, spokesperson for South Metro Fire who’s spent 20 years in fire service. “When there aren’t fire hydrants near-by, fire fighters have to bring the water with them.”
South Metro used trucks called tenders to transport water to the bale fire. A fire truck carries water as well, but not enough to fight the fire that was burning on I-25 Tuesday. Hurst said the tender carries 3,000 gallons of water, three times the amount of a standard fire truck.
Hurst said the tender would empty out its load into a giant bucket. A fire truck would vacuum up the water and put it on the fire. The tender then would go back to the fire hydrant to get more water.
“It’s definitely cool in the fact that we’ve got the tools ready to fight a fire even the odds are up against us,” Hurst said. “There is no fast way to get water to where the fire fighters are located."