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Cali Owings, The Forum, Published April 05 2014

Passing train causes fire in Glyndon

Forum Staff reports

GLYNDON – A train passing through Clay County caused about 20 miles of grass fires between Glyndon and Hawley Saturday afternoon.

Clay County Sgt. Mark Empting said crews were initially called to a report of a fire two miles east of Glyndon around 5:30 p.m.. When they arrived, more calls came in for fires along BNSF railroad tracks throughout the county just off of Highway 10.

He said it was basically “one long fire from about two miles east of Glyndon all the way to the Clay County and Becker County line.”

Empting said the railroad has determined the fire was caused by a trailing engine.

As of 8:30 p.m., Empting said all of the fires were contained and there were no injuries.

The fire destroyed a railroad-owned bridge on 220th Street in rural Hawley. The street will be closed between 17th Avenue and 40th Avenue until repairs are made.

Empting said the fire did not damage any other structures, just grass and plants.

Several fire departments in Clay County responded to the grass fires Saturday afternoon and early evening including Felton, Barnesville Hitterdal, Dilworth, Glyndon and Hawley.