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Tyler County crews battle fires

By Staff | Oct 31, 2012

Fire crews from across Tyler County were kept busy Oct. 25 and 26 as they battled a brush fire and a fire at a gas drilling site within hours of one another.

According to Alvyn Schopp, vice president of Antero Resources, the fire occurred at the company’s Forest Pad off of W.Va. 23 just after 7:45 p.m. Schopp said a security guard on the premises noticed that a dump valve on a production tank was stuck open, releasing gas through a vent in the condensation tank.

The security guard left the area to inform operations personnel because he had no cell phone signal, and in that time the the tanks had caught fire. A landowner reported seeing the flames, and Shirley and Alma fire departments responded.

Schopp said there was no explosion in the fire as the tanks are constructed to contain any liquids or gas in the event of an emergency. Crews drained the tanks to secure the contents before extinguishing the flames with foam, Schopp said. The fire was contained and extinguished by 11 p.m.

“The big issue was with the confinement rigs we use, and they worked as they should have,” Schopp said. “No liquids or foam were released and there are no environmental concerns.”

The call for the fire at the well site came as crews were finishing up at the site of brush fire in a wooded area along the Ritchie and Tyler county lines near Pennsboro.

According to Chief Jimmy Wade of the Shirley Fire Department, crews arrived at the scene at about 3:30 p.m. and worked for four hours to control the blaze. A cause of the fire is still not known, but the West Virginia Division of Forestry continues to investigate, Wade said.

On Monday, officials said at least 100 acres of land were affected during Thursday’s fire and on Friday when the fire rekindled.

“You’ll have things like that when the weather is dry,” Wade said.

No injuries were reported as a result of either incident.