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Passing train sparks brush fire

ELKHART, Ind. – Conditions have been so dry in Michiana lately that all it took to was a few sparks thrown from a passing train to ignite a brush fire on Tuesday afternoon.

Fire fighters were called to the field near the intersection of County Road 1 and County Road 12 at around 3 p.m. and found flames quickly spreading into nearby woods.

"The rail yards here behind me started up one of their engines that went down the rail yard's throwing off sparks which with the dry conditions ignited the grass,” described Cleveland Township Fire Chief Rich Newman.  “With the wind it carried it out into a big field."

It took trucks and fire fighters from Cleveland Township, Penn, Osolo, Baugo and Elkhart city just over half-an-hour to finally get the fire under control.  Ever since dry conditions hit Michiana in recent weeks fire crews have been swamped with calls to put out grass and brush fires.

"Even with the little bit of rain any area got yesterday,” Chief Newman explained.  “It didn't even touch the dryness."

Nobody was hurt in Tuesday’s fire and fire fighters were able to keep the flames from damaging any nearby buildings.

Fire crews ask people to continue to be careful when doing anything that could possibly spark a fire as the drought conditions continue.

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