Fire crews from three municipalities battled a widespread grass fire along the CP Rail tracks on Friday afternoon.

Officials say the fires were caused by a freight train's wheels throwing sparks onto the dry grass along the tracks, and it quickly spread.

Art Lounsbury, Tecumseh Fire deputy chief, says this isn't a common occurrence and the dry conditions definitely fuelled the fire.

“We haven't had any rain so far yet this year, and on nice day like today, nice and warm, slight breeze, any kind of spark into this grass is going to start it burning and once you start the grass it just feeds itself all the way along until someone puts it out.”

The first small grass fire broke out in Lakeshore around 10 a.m. Another ignited in Tecumseh shortly afterward and quickly spread into east Windsor where about ten piles of old railway ties caught fire.

The pockets of fire reached from Lauzon Road out past Patillo Road.

As a result of the fires train traffic has been halted in both directions until all three fire departments and CP police give the all clear.

While a CP spokesperson has confirmed a train did pass through the area an hour before the fires were first reported, he says it's too early to say if that was the cause of the blaze.