Dallas Fireballs Part of Atmos "Flaring" - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Fireballs Part of Atmos "Flaring"



    Drivers around Carrollton or North Dallas on Tuesday might have seen huge balls of fire up in the sky. (Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014)

    Drivers near Carrollton and North Dallas on Tuesday might have seen huge balls of fire up in the sky.

    The fireballs are part of an Atmos Energy practice the company said will help serve customers in a better way.

    "It’s what we call flaring," explained Atmos spokeswoman Jennifer Altieri. "It’s standard industry practice were we go in there and safely burn the natural gas from a specific section of pipe, so our guys can go in there an actually work on that pipe."

    The flaring in Carrollton was happening off Parker Road. Atmos said the flaring there was needed to help workers put in a larger pipe.

    The other flaring was near TI Boulevard and Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway. Atmos said that operation was for routine maintenance.

    Altieri said making sure both of these sites were safe was the company's top priority.

    "Anytime we have a flaring operation, we notify our fire departments to come in here and make sure they are on hand just in case anything does happen," she said.

    If residents in those areas smell natural gas, it's likely the burn off from these flaring operations.

    "Sometimes there will be some gas smell," said Altieri. "You will smell natural gas burning off during the flaring operation. That is why we notify the media because as a motorist driving by you might think what is going on."

    Atmos Energy officials said it usually takes three to six hours for all the excess gas to burn up.