More than 70 cars burn in grass parking lot near Temple, Texas

Robinson Family Farm Fire
Robinson Family Farm Fire. Lisa Adams.

The parking lot at the Robinson Family Farm in Temple, Texas turned into an inferno Saturday afternoon during their annual pumpkin patch event. According to the owner of the farm no injuries were reported but approximately 73 vehicles were destroyed when a wind-driven fire spread rapidly through the mowed pasture used as a parking lot.

Robinson Family Farm Fire
Robinson Family Farm. KCENN.

From KWTX:

The Temple Fire & Rescue Department responded to the blaze at around 1 p.m. Oct. 15. Multiple fire departments from Little River Academy, Troy, Rogers, Salado, Holland, Bartlett and Belton were called to assist.

The first units to arrive found approximately 10 cars on fire in the pasture area used for parking but due to the numbers of cars involved, the East Side Strike Team was called to bring in additional resources.

Fire crews were able to move some of the cars out of the way of the flames.

One attendee on Facebook wrote, “I have to say that is the most exciting and expensive pumpkin patch we’ve been to” after their family van “burned to a crisp.”

Robinson Family Farm Fire
Cars burn at Robinson Family Farm in Texas. KCENN.

On April 3, 2020 3,516 rental cars parked in a mowed field near the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) near Fort Myers, Florida burned in a similar manner.

“The cars were stored in a location not ordinarily used for any specific purpose”, Victoria B. Moreland, Director of Communications and Marketing for the airport said at the time. “The large number was due to the car rental agencies serving RSW not renting inventory during the peak season due to the current COVID-19 crisis.”

rental cars burn fire Fort Myers Airport
More than 3,500 rental cars burn at Southwest Florida International Airport at Fort Myers, Florida April 3, 2020. Fort Myers Fire Department photo.

At one point firefighters in Florida used dozers to build fireline through the cars to stop the spread.

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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.

5 thoughts on “More than 70 cars burn in grass parking lot near Temple, Texas”

  1. Reminds me of the Feather Falls Mill Fire (Plumas NF) around 1960. The crane operator created a break in the one burning deck down to just a few logs, but the paint started to blister on the cab, so he got the hell out of there fast. He said the fire, consisting of really big-stick (8-10′ diameter and larger–and a few smaller) deck burned like a fuse and went past his previous location in a flash. A lot of preheating, eh?

  2. This is why I periodically do broadcast burns on my vehicles. I usually start in the rear seat and drag fire to the font seats and then on to the engine compartment and, ultimately, to the tires. These Rx burns really make my vehicles more fire adapted and resilient. I’ve been doing this for years and building significant social license that dovetails nicely with the messaging that good car fires prevent bad car fires.

  3. Mr. Hertz that was a good example of automobile ownership annual service, can’t get that at the dealers. As electric cars start to become more common will this “service” be an issue? Electric car fires like magnesium fires (probably worst) take copious amounts of water (and time) to cool the fire fuel source, is your car a Firebird?

  4. Only a matter of time till someone’s electric car burns down an entire neighborhood. Then everyone’s homeowner’s insurance costs will skyrocket, even if you don’t even own an electric car. Sad days ahead.

What do you think?