Cotton-Picking Fire

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

On Wednesday, November 28, the Jefferson County Fire Rescue, Jefferson County EMS and the Monticello Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call regarding a fire in a cotton field located off of Ashville Hwy.
Upon arrival to the scene, firefighters discovered a fully involved cotton-picker that was on fire and black smoke that was boiling up into the sky.
Prior to the arrival of first responders, the owner, Brandon Barnes of Boston, GA., had doused the cotton field in order to prevent the spread of the fire.
The responding firefighters were able to put out the fire after using around 3,000 gallons of water and 20 gallons of foam on the flame-engulfed piece of farming equipment.
After the flames had been put out, the operator of the machine stated that he had been harvesting cotton when he began smelling smoke.
The operator had checked the equipment, and noticed fire on the machine.
After observing the fire, the operator dumped the cotton he had been harvesting and drove the cotton-picker closer to the road so that it would be easier for first responders to reach, as well as to be closer to the field’s water supply.
Once the heat from the fire became too intense, the operator got off of the machine, and moved to a nearby tractor, with which he mowed down the cotton nearest the burning cotton picker.
Jefferson County Fire Rescue received the call regarding the fire at 12:29 p.m., arrived on scene at 12:35 p.m., and all units had cleared the scene by 2:11 p.m.
There is an estimated $15,000 in damaged property loss due to this fire, but due to the quick thinking of the cotton-picker’s operator, the fire was controlled and further loss was prevented.