Man trying to prevent fire loses tractor when it sparks into flames, starts brush blaze

Courtesy photo

A man tried to clear brush to protect his land from fire, but it burned anyway when the tractor he was using sparked into flames Thursday in rural East Pierce County, firefighters said.

The fire started about 1 p.m. as the man was using the tractor mower to clear space around the property.

The forested land is near Meridian Avenue East and Thomas Road East and has no structures, South Pierce Fire & Rescue Chief Bob Vellias said.

“He was just trying to put some defensible fire lines around it, so that if they got one of those roadside cigarettes thrown, it would have some defensible space,” Vellias said.

About an acre to 1.5 acres burned. No one was hurt.

Crews shut down Meridian for about an hour in the area as they fought the fire, detouring traffic onto side roads.