The sky above Dallas County was filled with a massive plume of black smoke Thursday afternoon as a tire fire burned at a race track near Grand Prairie.
The 3-alarm fire was reported after 4 p.m. at the Yello Belly Racetrack on the 6000 block of West Davis Street, just west of Loop 12. It took nearly 70 firefighters to get the blaze under control.
No injuries were reported in the fire.
Allen Roberson, a track official, told NBC 5 that the tires are part of what is known as the "shutdown area," meant to slow down drivers' vehicles who can't slow down enough on their own during a drag race. He saw the fire from nearly ten miles away.
"I thought it was out this way. I said, 'Wow, something's on fire,' then a couple of guys called me and said, 'Allen, what's up with the track?"
The tires are situated along a heavily wooded area, which made the fire even more difficult to extinguish.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Along with the fire itself, Dallas Fire-Rescue crews fought the dangerously warm air temperature, which at 4 p.m. was measured at 99 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees.
"There's alot of heat coming off of those tires burning, and so we ended up having two DART buses go near where the fire area was so that we could rehab those individuals who had gone in, fought fire, and had to come back out, just to get some relief. They're air-conditioned. So we put them in there to relax, get some water. We use them for relief," said Lieutenant Pena, an arson investigator.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is monitoring the air quality surrounding the fire scene to ensure the public's safety. No evacuations or precautions were ordered.
NBC 5 viewers reported seeing the smoke plume from as far away as Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, approximately 17 miles north.
"I was all the way in West Dallas and saw it so we drove over," said Bobby Proctor, an amateur photographer. I take pictures man, I got to get it for my news on Facebook."
The racing surface was unharmed by the fire, and Roberson said they hope to go forward with a planned event at the race track this weekend.