MORGAN COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Crews are battling an uncontrolled coal fire at an Xcel plant in Morgan County. The fire inside a storage facility at the Pawnee Power Plant in Fort Morgan prompted an evacuation of all non-essential personnel on Friday.
Xcel Energy took the plant offline as a precaution in an effort to keep the fire under control. Officials say the fire started several days ago and intensified on Friday morning.
The fire is located in a storage area that is in a separate building from the main plant. The plant will remain out of service until officials conduct further assessments.
In a statement to CBS4, Xcel said there is no immediate risk to the public:
“The safety of our employees and people in the area is our top priority. We are taking steps to ensure everyone stays safe and we can get the plant back up and running as soon as possible.”
The company does not anticipate any interruptions of electric service to customers.
Morgan County Road 24 is closed at County Road Q for south bound traffic. Morgan County Road Q is closed between County Road 24 and 26 for non-local traffic.
Multiple agencies responded to the fire, including Morgan County Emergency Management, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Brush Volunteer Fire Department, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Department of Public Safety and the Northeast Colorado Health Department.
For the latest updates about the fire, visit the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.