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Sedona Balloon Fire Sparks Blaze and Burns Operator

Quick action by SFD firefighters responding to a hot air balloon fire narrowly averts a wildfire in the midst of Sedona during this week’s record heat wave.

Sedona AZ (June 20, 2017)At 8:45 a.m., Tuesday, June 20, 2017, Sedona Fire District (SFD) emergency crews were dispatched to a hot air balloon fire on Dry Creek Road, off SR 89A, Sedona.

Upon arrival, Battalion Chief Dave Cochrane observed a fully involved vehicle and trailer loaded with a hot air balloon and propane tanks. As Sedona Fire Department engine crews arrived, Cochrane called for an additional fire engine and directed the fire attack.

The vehicle, trailer, balloon and other equipment were a total loss.

The fire is under investigation, but preliminary indications are that an undetermined source caused a spark during fueling operations which ignited the propane.

“The balloon pilot was filling the propane tanks when he heard an unusual noise and saw a plume of fire venting from one of the propane tanks,” said SFD Fire Marshal Jon Davis, “He was able to get in the vehicle and drive it out of the driveway onto the road. By moving the vehicle away from the vegetation near the propane refueling tank, the driver undoubtedly prevented what could have been a much larger fire.”

Fire Investigator Rick Evans commented, “Unfortunately, the balloon pilot suffered some burns on his arms while trying to extinguish the fire and was transported to Sedona Emergency Center. Incidents like this really highlight the importance of following safe fueling practices at all times.”

The vehicle, trailer, balloon and other equipment were a total loss estimated at $35,000. No other injuries were reported.

Kudos to Sedona Fire District firefighters for their quick response and training which prevented the fire from igniting surrounding trees and brush and spreading to nearby homes.



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  1. KT says:

    Appreciated the last paragraph Sedona Eye. Best for last. Thanks for the recognition.

  2. A&W says:

    Red Rock Balloon floated down one of their balloons in the VOC this morning before 7 am, they land any place they want according to the law which makes sense since death might be the other option if they couldn’t do that. Beautiful to see.

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