WISE COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - The North Texas weather may have been the cause of a massive fire in Wise County.
At around 8:30 Tuesday morning a lightning strike is suspected of starting a fire at a salt water disposal well just off of Highway 144, west of Boyd.
Green Tide Water Disposal owns the well.
At the height of the blaze six tank batteries were burning. Flames and heavy smoke can be seen for miles.
Fire crews on the scene sprayed the fire with foam, but decided to let the blaze burn itself out. The blaze burned for several hours before finally dying out.
The smoke is gone now, but some residents are still concerned. “I went back to my back fence back there and you could see it through the trees…you could see that smoke coming up,” said Boyd resident Gary Weatherley.
Resident Pam Garnett said, “I know this can happen anywhere but we’ve never really lived this close to oilfields, oil rigs or what have you, so we were all freaking out.”
State and federal environmental agencies monitored air quality in the area and fire officials said there is no reason for alarm.
“Lightning strikes on these tanks are not uncommon,” said Wise County Fire Marshal Marc Dodd. “It’s a volatile, organic compound is what’s left in that oil, and that stuff will burn off readily.”
No injuries have been reported.
The salt water disposal wells contained fluid drawn out during the natural gas drilling process.
Drilling a gas well takes about a month, first vertically and then horizontally. Then comes the hydraulic fracturing process or “fracking” — when pressurized water is used to break through rock to get to the natural gas within.
Some of that water and other fluids are extracted along with the gas. After they’re separated, the waste water is disposed of in wells.