MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Jackson County Fire Rescue crews battled a brush fire at one of the new solar panel fields in Marianna Monday night.
Officials said putting this kind of blaze out was tricky.
“Low frequency but potentially high-risk situations, things you don’t respond to often, they pose a unique challenge for the volunteer fire departments and the paid departments so as far as what could happen it’s kind of an open field.”
JCFR crews, along with other volunteer departments, responded to the fire at the Florida Power and Light solar field off Americus Road.
“Fire crews were ultimately able to prevent any spread to the wildland structure next to it and were able to suppress the fire once technicians from FPL got on scene and were able to advise them. And then we got a little help from Mother Nature with a little rain there too so it was good timing there.”
The fire started around 6:00 Monday night and burned about five acres of grass underneath the solar panels, melting some of the writing in the process.
FPL advised crews against spraying the solar equipment with water to avoid electrocution.
“There’s the concern about damaging the companies equipment and how bad the fire is moving and how much is it actually affecting their equipment so you want to preserve the property but there’s always the risk for electrocution, damaging expensive equipment so those are the things you are concerned about.”
Firefighters battled the blaze for about an hour and a half before putting it out.
There were no reported power outages as a result of the fire and no one was hurt.
Maddox said no evidence on the scene pointed to any foul play, and that as far as they know, the fire could have been started by a lightning strike or a spark from the machines.