Squirrel causes fire in Rapid City, South Dakota

Another documented case of Animal Arson:

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Darren.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

4 thoughts on “Squirrel causes fire in Rapid City, South Dakota”

  1. Dennis, as a retired electrician I can pretty much assure you it was the charred remains of the squirrel falling off the pole (most likely from contact with the primary bushing on a transformer) that started the fire. I’ve seen this with squirrels and birds and they were never “OK” afterwards.

  2. Thanks Carl, as a retired wildland fireman I’ve seen this happen before. Just didn’t know the little bugger was up a power pole. Thanks again

  3. Grey squirrels are a growing menace in this country because so few people
    are trapping them and most of their predators have become extinct or
    are an endangered species . I suspect there are more than 200 million of them
    across the US alone.

    As you can see from the link below, this problem has become so obvious and costly
    to insurance companies that they are adding an ambiguous clause to power plant
    insurance policies that allows them to avoid paying for damages caused by
    “arcing”. but the real purpose of this ambiguous clause is not usually discovered
    until policy holders (ie Power companies) file claims for damages and are denied.

    2016-11-09-Court case: City of West Liberty VS. Employers Mutual Casualty Co.
    (319) 627-2814 = Jacob Lane · Wednesday, November 9, 2016 “Well, on Nov. 7, 2014,
    around 11 a.m. a squirrel crawled into the city’s electrical substation, came into contact
    with the main transformer and caused a city-wide power outage. The result was a
    small explosion, witnessed by many community members. The transformer went up in
    a bright light and black smoke poured into the sky. After all was said and done,
    EMC neglected to pay $213,524.76 in damage to the transformer due to an “arcing”
    clause in the original policy. Specifically: “[EMC does] not pay for loss caused by arcing
    or by electrical currents other than lightning. But if arcing or electrical currents results
    in fire, “we” cover the loss or damage caused by that fire.” “Arcing” occurs when a strong
    discharge of electrical current jumps a gap or medium between two electrodes.”

    Squirrels are easy to trap and then send to “squirrel heaven”.
    I have permanently removed almost 70 squirrels from our small suburban
    property in less than 2 years. I then leave them for a fox that lives in a
    nearby woods. Win-Win

    There are never EVER any squirrel headlines that anyone in their “right mind”
    would consider to be positive. They almost always involve some sort of tragedy.
    If you google for squirrel stories every 2-3 weeks you will be surprised
    at the problems they are causing around the country.

    (Some nitwit burned down an apartment house cooking a squirrel
    with a propane torch but the link above will cause google
    to ignore those stories.)

    There are videos on Youtube that explain how to make your own trap.
    But the #1 problem I have with commercial traps is that birds can easily
    steal the bait without setting off the trap.

    This one seems like the best and easiest to make


    Small towns should offer a small bounty to people willing to trap squirrels
    in my opinion.

    I have some other tips for people wanting to trap squirrels.

    Bill Z
    Folsom, PA
    devilsadvacat at gmail.com

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