Firefighters battle blaze near pump jack in Moffat County | CraigDailyPress.com

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Firefighters battle blaze near pump jack in Moffat County

Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters contained a blaze Thursday at a pump jack location near the Craig/Moffat County Airport.

The fire, located on the north side of Colorado Highway 394 about a quarter mile west of Moffat County Road 33, ignited at about 12:30 p.m.

Authorities believe the heating element on a heater-treater — a tank used to separate oil, gas and water — failed and ignited the fire.

"Upon my arrival I had a pressurized vessel fully engulfed in flames, with fire (burning) around it and thick black smoke," said fire chief Bill Johnston. "We eventually had a well operator arrive who explained how to secure the fuel, and we were able to put out the fire with no injuries."

Because of the high risk for an explosion Moffat County Sheriff's Office deputies closed down Highway 394 for several hours from about a mile east of Yampa Valley Golf Course to the scene at MCR 33.

Firefighters cleared the scene at about 2:15 p.m., Johnston said.

The pump jack is operated by an undisclosed independent company. Hayden-based Booco's Contract Services, Inc. is the service provider.

Also responding to Thursday's fire was an ambulance crew from The Memorial Hospital in Craig.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com