Railroad tie fire rekindled from earlier bonfire

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Updated: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:49:02 CST

The Grand Island Rural Fire Department is now saying yesterday's railroad tie fire was rekindled from an earlier fire.

The fire started in a field near St. Paul Road and Airport Road and spread into a grove of evergreen trees and a pile of used railroad ties. Rural Fire Chief Chuck Hoffman says the original fire had been caused by a group of people building a bonfire, a dangerous move in such dry conditions.

"We haven't had any moisture this fall or winter to keep this duff down close to the ground moist and wet, it's now dry and fluffy. We have low humidity and dry winds so about as good of a situation as you can get to promote fire spread."
Fire officials contacted the sheriffs department at the time of the original fire. Chief Hoffman is urging residents to avoid burns during these conditions. They will continue to monitor the scene as strong winds come up today.