Emergency crews spent nearly an hour extinguishing a flatbed truck that caught fire last Friday night.
Kiowa County Sheriff’s officers received report of a flaming westbound flat bed semi-truck on Friday night.
The driver, an operator for a private shipping company, was unaware of the fire until he passed through Haviland, pulling along the north side of U.S. 54 just east of the Brenham elevator.
Responding officers escorted the truck to a nearby Kansas Department of Transportation mixing strip where Kiowa County Fire Department and Kiowa County Sheriff’s officers extinguished the flames.
The truck was transporting used railroad ties through the county when a stack towards the rear of the flatbed caught fire.
Kiowa County Fire Chief Jay Koehn said he didn’t know how long the truck had been on fire and couldn’t speculate on its cause although he noted that, like most wood ties, they were covered in creosote.
No injuries were reported.
Creosote is a coal-tar coating used to preserve wood for industrial use. Railroad ties and telephone poles are some of the most common wood treated with creosote, which repels fungi, insects and acts as a water repellent.
In 2003 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended creosote for “restricted use,” based on findings, which linked it to certain health hazards.
In recent years some railroad companies have been swapping older creosote-coated wooden ties, with newer concrete composite replacements.