Wyoming fire department shares footage of unusual sulfur flames

By Ben Hooper  |  July 13, 2017 at 8:41 AM
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July 13 (UPI) -- Firefighters in Wyoming shared video of the unusual flames that resulted when an off-road motorcycle ignited a sulfur mound.

The Worland Volunteer Fire Department posted a video to Facebook that was captured by Capt. Brandon Yule when the department responded Friday to Smet Recycling on Highway 20 North in Worland.

"Despite the beautiful flames, burning sulfur creates a hazardous gas called sulfur dioxide. WFD was able to position apparatus in a safe location and lay in a line to extinguish the fire," the post said.

The department said firefighters donned protective gear when fighting the flames to prevent from inhaling any of the dangerous gas.

Worland Fire Chief Chris Kocher said the flames were ignited accidentally by an off-road motorcycle rider.

"It was started from the exhaust pipe/manifold making contact with the sulfur product while a motorcycle rider was crossing over the mound and got bogged down," Kocher told the Northern Wyoming Daily News.

The department said the sulfur mound is related to a defunct plant from decades ago.

"The deposits in rural Washakie County are leftover from the Texas Gulf Sulfur Plant that operated north of Worland in the 1950s," the Facebook post said. "Much of the sulfur is mixed heavily with soil and is not 100 percent sulfur concentrate. This is a type of fire that is not common but needs to be addressed and dealt with safely and quickly."

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