Three suspicious fires, which caused $1 million in damage to construction equipment, are being investigated on the Dakota Access Bakken Pipeline project In Jasper and Mahaska counties in Iowa.
The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating one fire on the pipeline project in Mahaska County and two more pipeline construction fires in Jasper County that may be related, according to Alex Murphy, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Energy Transfer Partners issued a statement vowing to prosecute whoever set the fires in Jasper and Mahaska counties.
"It is unfortunate that people need to behave in this manner," the company said. "Americans burning American-made equipment, which is owned and operated by American companies, employing American union workers, working on a pipeline owned and operated by an American company for transporting crude oil produced in America for American consumers, is a shameful act by a group of people trying to disrupt our country’s energy security and independence. We will not tolerate this kind of activity, which is a safety hazard to all concerned."
A Komatsu excavator and Caterpillar crawler dozer and excavator, owned by Huston-based subcontractor Pe Ben U.S.A. and Precision Pipeline of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, were set on fire with damage estimated to be about $1 million. The equipment was located in the 4500 block of S 12th Avenue West near Newton and 8800 block Salmon St. near Reasnor.
Newton Fire Marshal Mike Knoll said the Jasper County fires were reported Monday. The Newton Daily News said a third fire was reported on the pipeline route in Mahaska County about 8.5 miles north of Oskaloosa that was believed to have been set early Sunday morning.
No one has been arrested.