Wind Turbine Starts Fire Near Tehachapi | KCET
Wind Turbine Starts Fire Near Tehachapi
A large wind turbine burst into flame late Friday night in the mountains above Mojave, causing a small grassfire. The fire took place near the intersection of Oak Creek and Tehachapi Willow Springs roads.
The fire was spotted and photographed by passersby who, ironically, had just left a meeting of the group Friends of Mojave at which fire danger of wind turbines had been discussed.
According to Friends of Mojave's Michael Fortuna, the turbine that burned was likely at least ten years old. (It was built by Danish manufacturer NEG Micon, which places the manufacture before 2004 as the NEG Micon imprint was no longer used after the company merged with Vestas, another Danish manufacturer, in that year.) The turbine was installed by Oak Creek Energy and is owned by American Wind Capital.
Large wind turbines can catch fire when the turbines develop excessive heat, igniting lubricating oils -- especially if those oils are old or dirty. Fortuna told ReWire that many of the large turbines in the area develop significant deposits of grease on the undersides of their nacelles -- the section behind the blades that houses the turbine -- as seen in this photo provided by Friends of Mojave:
Whether this weekend's fire originated in a similar oil slick or within the nacelle that houses the turbine, it did significant damage to the turbine:
Details regarding the scope of the grassfire were not immediately available. Fortuna told ReWire that local authorities are reluctant to divulge information regadring fires involving wind turbines in the area.
For ongoing environmental coverage in March 2017 and afterward, please visit our show Earth Focus, or browse Redefine for historic material.
KCET's award-winning environment news project Redefine ran from July 2012 through February 2017.
Chicano and Mexican women of all ages featured in Vincent Price Art Museum's “Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology” represents a century of transnational resistance against oppression in its many forms.
Award-winning composer Lisa Bielawa is tasked to help preserve Glass’s inimitable legacy in music, but also to create new courses and curricula that build on the principles and vision of Glass.
Three years since airing the last season, KCET’s highest-rated series returns for an eighth season! The new season of "Doc Martin" begins Thursday, Jan. 24 at 8:00 p.m.
The tireless work of Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, who was dedicated to the often-misunderstood delicate desert landscape, was critical in establishing Joshua Tree as a national monument. She paved the way for its continued preservation today.
- 1 of 117
- next ›