Fire burns motorcycle stunt training area

A fire that broke out at about 9 p.m. Wednesday at Victoria Lane in a field used for practicing motorcycle stunts resulted in $15,000 in damage to the equipment, which included a foam pit for soft landings. The fire is still under investigation, but firecrackers are believed to have been involved. No one was injured.

A fire that broke out Wednesday night in a field used for practicing motorcycle stunts resulted in $15,000 in damage to a foam-padded pit and related equipment, a Butte fire official told the Montana Standard.

Brian Doherty, assistant fire chief, said firefighters received a call around 9 p.m. to Victoria Lane, a street that intersects with Mount Highland Drive, where the fire destroyed motorcycle ramps and the foam pit used for providing soft landings for motorcyclists practicing stunts. No one was injured.

According to Doherty, a group of six young adults -- five males and one female --  were arranging the jump site when the fire ignited. They were lighting firecrackers, the assistant fire chief said, which may have ignited grass in the area and the foam pit.

They tried to stomp out the fire and they used a fire extinguisher. But the highly flammable foam in the pit caused the fire to grow rapidly.

Doherty said foam is particularly flammable and that when fire combines with the material, “it’s going to expand rapidly.”

Doherty described the blaze as a “big fire” and said that dry weather conditions and wind contributed to its strength. He also noted that Butte is under Stage 1 fire restrictions, which bars the use of campfires and home recreational fires, among other restrictions.

The fire was rapidly extinguished, Doherty said, noting the fire crews “did a great job.”

He said that the fireworks are not allowed in Butte except during the Fourth of July, but could not say whether anyone related to the fire will face penalties.

Doherty said said Wednesday night the blaze remains under investigation.

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Business Reporter

Business Reporter for The Montana Standard.

Nat'l Resources / General Reporter

Environmental and natural resources reporter for the Montana Standard.

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