Processor Catches Fire
A processor operator was harvesting a strip close to the landing and decided to walk to his truck to get his lunch. Since he was about 150 metres from his truck, he stepped out of the processor and let it run while he walked towards his truck. When he was approximately 20 metres from his truck, he heard the processor engine stop. He turned and saw smoke over the trees. The operator headed towards the processor but realized that he would not be able to access the fire extinguisher. He ran to the porter for an extinguisher. While running to the porter he called 911 on his cellular telephone and asked for the Bear River Volunteer Fire Department, which responded to the call. With the extinguisher from the porter, the operator managed to keep the fire from spreading into the brush piles under the processor, but he could not extinguish the fire as it was too hot and severe. The operator also managed to save the felling head with the extinguisher and a back tank that he had on-site. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire.
Although the actual cause of the fire is not known, it is suspected that either woody debris and oil in the engine compartment or a diesel leak was the cause. No visual inspection was done on the machine prior to the operator leaving the immediate area. The machine was left idling.
Recommendations to Prevent a Recurrence
Always shut off machine and do a visual inspection before leaving the premises.