Wind turbine that caught fire was last serviced in January

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TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – You can still see smoke coming off the ground a day after the fire that was started by a wind turbine Monday afternoon.

“As a result of the embers coming off of that, it created this wildfire,” said Mary Leathers, Public Information Officer for The Texas A&M Forest Service.

The Texas A&M Forest Service brought in the heavy air tanker, the single-engineer tankers and type one helicopter to help them.

“When they make a drop, they know when to tag into the next part of the line, so that’s why there is the color to it, so that they can see it from the air. It also helps the ground resources see where the line is at,” said Leathers.

Margie Hughes, who lives in the area, has been bringing food and drinks to the fire crews.

“I had no way of knowing, but they have started fires in the past since they have been out here. Of course, the worst fire ever out here was by a pump jack and that was in 2009, which they fought for two weeks. In fact, we had to evacuate our home,” said Hughes.

AES, who maintains the wind turbine that caught fire and 300 more in the area, says this particular turbine was last serviced in January. The forest service says they are in contact with area turbine companies.

“Windmill companies are being very diligent, they know the weather conditions, so they are looking at the windmills, and looking at service, and some of them that have maybe needed some mechanical work, they shut them down so they don’t spin, and they are not energized so that they can do work on them. In fact, today the company has a service person working on some of the windmills to make sure that this doesn’t happen in the future,” said Leathers.

The forest service says they will be on scene for a couple of days to make sure it does not spark back up.

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