Ah fertilizer, nature's sewage treatment plant. As anyone who ate too many baked beans by the campfire can attest, open flames can be highly combustible given the proper...fuel. You might think it's common sense to refrain from whipping out ol' sparky next to the cow chips, but then someone over the Cascades had to go and learn their lesson the hard way. Thankfully, they lived to smell about it.
Grant County Sheriff's spokesman Kyle Foreman says the welding torch workers were hired by a landowner wanting to get rid of all the scrap metal on his property, including the old metal tank. The workers can't take all the blame for the blaze though. That lazy landowner likely had it coming, since he definitely didn't warn them to watch out for old fertilizer.
When they torched a hole through the tank, suddenly they had orange and white powder on their hands and the smoke came billowing out in their confused faces. Fortunately, responding firefighters knew exactly what the cause was and were able to contain the blaze without anybody getting sick or hurt.
Foreman says this kind of incident is not very common, but it does happen from time to time out in farm country. Scrap metal thieves are a problem in rural areas and there's always a chance for a careless flame and forgotten flammables to cross paths. Remember that the next time