The winter of 2017 snow continued throwing challenges at Teton County’s emergency responders over the weekend. At about 6:45 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 11), emergency crews were called to address a propane leak near Hoback Junction.
A front-end loader moving snow severed off the top of a buried underground liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tank, snapping a fitting to the tank. No one was home in the two nearby residences, according to Jackson Hole Fire/EMS reports.
Volunteers from the Hoback fire station plugged the leak; however, the plug failed after 20 minutes, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Fire Marshal Kathy Clay said. Crews went back into the hazardous area to re-plug the leak while waiting for service technicians to arrive. Once on scene, the gas service technicians were able to hook a hose into the tank and flare off the gas from the tank using a remote burner.
The gas flaring operation lasted more than 12 hours. Five Fire/EMS responders were on scene for approximately two hours.
Clay cautioned that if residents or businesses have a buried LPG (propane) tank, they should make sure it is marked with a tall stake.
“Keep the regulator at the house shoveled out, and be aware, snow loads can damage regulators,” Clay said. “Also, fire hydrants around the town and county have been buried in this winter’s deep snow. Please locate your area hydrant and shovel it out with 3-feet clearance for quick access for emergency crews.”
Clay reported that many residents have also discovered damaged vent pipes and stove pipes from the heavy snow sliding off roofs. Clay urged homeowners to closely inspect their pipes.
“Fire stove pipes may be damaged below the roof surface and cause fire extension into the attic. Other damaged vent pipes may cause carbon monoxide to leak into the home,” Clay said.
Clay recommends close inspection of all vent pipes on roofs that have had moving snow loads. For any further questions or concerns, please call Fire Marshal Kathy Clay at (307) 733-4732.